Islamabad: The United States, through its Agency for International Development (USAID), showcased the results of Pakistani farmers using new technology to grow high value off-season vegetables at its Vegetable Fair 2014 in Islamabad.
Acting Mission Director for USAID Pakistan Nancy Estes underscored the U.S. government’s commitment to develop Pakistan’s agricultural sector: “The produce we see here today marks the introduction of greenhouse technology in Pakistan on a large scale. USAID’s goal is to help farmers establish 1,200 high tunnels and to adopt modern farming practices. These initiatives will significantly transform vegetable farming, increase yields, create more jobs, and help farmers earn higher incomes.”
A large number of participants involved in the industry showcased Pakistani grown fruits and vegetables as well as related products and services at the fair. Vegetable Fair 2014 also connected farmers with packing specialists, marketing experts and exporters, helping them integrate into the global economy.
USAID’s Agribusiness Project, which organized the fair, works to improve produce quality and value, increase agriculture productivity, and remove constraints to agricultural production and marketing. Through the project, USAID also provides quality high yield seed, toolkits, low and high greenhouse tunnels, and technical assistance to Pakistani farmers. The tunnels enable farmers to produce off-season vegetables, greatly increasing land productivity and profitability.
The United States, though USAID, boosts Pakistan’s agricultural productivity by introducing advanced farming technologies, services, and practices; building irrigation infrastructure; and introducing improved water management practices. Over the last 18 months, U.S assistance has helped create 9,000 new jobs in Pakistan’s agricultural sector and generate more than $60 million in new Pakistani agriculture export orders.