ISLAMABAD: The United States (U.S) Agency for International Development (USAID) hosted a training session for Pakistani farmers that introduced new techniques to produce grapes and ways to connect with merchants, processors and exporters to better prepare their crops for market.
Scott Hocklander, USAID’s Director of Economic Growth and Agriculture, noted that grape growing provides a special advantage for farmers in the Potohar region.
“The grape farming in this region enjoys a competitive advantage, since Potohar grapes are harvested before the monsoon season, when grapes from other parts of the country are not yet available,” Hocklander said.
According to a press statement issued here on Wednesday, USAID has helped cultivate nearly 70 percent of the 420 acres of grape vineyards in the Potohar region and its Agribusiness Project helps medium and small-scale farmers by providing plants and trellises.
In addition, USAID provides training and technical assistance in canopy management, disease and pest management, harvest and post-harvest handling techniques, and marketing.
The USAID Agribusiness Project aims to create 13,000 new jobs in the horticulture and meat sectors, and increase sales revenue in excess of $14 million. In total, the project will benefit more than 24,000 rural households throughout Pakistan.