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US-Pakistan partnership gives farmers access to agricultural technologies

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ISLAMABAD: The United States Agency for International Development (USAID) hosted the first-ever ‘Modernizing Agriculture through Innovative Technologies Conference 2020’ in Islamabad yesterday, Jan 15.

The event showcased the transformational impact of the U.S.-Pakistan partnership to advance agricultural commercialization in Pakistan through strategic partnerships with 30 dynamic agricultural technologies businesses. 

The conference is part of USAID’s four-year Pakistan Agricultural Technology Transfer Activity (PATTA).  This initiative enables the private sector to give Pakistani farmers access to innovative agricultural products and management practices, which improve productivity and enhance competitiveness. 

One of the important highlights of the conference was the unveiling of PATTA’s “Agri-Tech Hub” – a suite of pioneering agricultural technologies and tools being promoted by the project and its agribusiness partners.  Key agriculture sector stakeholders also held a panel discussion on the potential of private sector agri-tech investments to transform Pakistani agriculture, create jobs, encourage adoption of agricultural innovations, reduce costs, and solve problems for farmers and growers.

Joint Secretary, Ministry for National Food Security and Research Dr. Muhammad Khurshid praised USAID for empowering farmers to boost their incomes and to improve food security.  He also applauded the project’s partners for joining hands with the United States to bring vitality to Pakistan’s agriculture sector. 

USAID/Pakistan’s Acting Mission Director Clay W. Epperson reiterated the importance of the private sector’s role in uplifting agriculture. 

“The future of agricultural development in Pakistan is enterprise-driven,” said Mr. Epperson. “………..Working together, we can embrace modernity in the agriculture sector with trailblazing products and services, and good agricultural management practices. Greater impact cannot be achieved alone.” 

USAID also supports private sector agribusinesses by building their capacity through a broad-based technical assistance package, which includes skills enhancement opportunities to significantly increase sales and expand business networks, ultimately benefiting local farmers. –-PR

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