- The funds will be used to help transform the agriculture by implementing technology that is climate smart to increase water use efficiency, increase resilient to severe weather events , and boost the incomes of small-scale farmers.
The world bank’s Board of Executive Directors on Saturday approved $200 million of financing for Pakistan’s agriculture sector.
The funds will be used for reforming the agriculture sector of the country through the adoption of climate-smart technology to enhance water efficiency, increase resilience to weather extremes and boost the income of small farmers, stated the World Bank in a statement.
“The agriculture segment in Punjab is a key component of Pakistan’s economic security and food security because it accounts 70% of Pakistan’s entire food-related production” according to the global lender.
It is reported that the World Bank added that the Punjab Resilient and Inclusive Agricultural Transformation Program (PRIAT) will boost the productivity of agriculture through the efficient and equitable accessibility to drinking water, especially for small-scale farms. The program will help farmers both at household and community levels to adopt smart methods of farming and technology according to the World Bank which will improve yields on crops and preserve the water resources of Punjab.
“In the past few years, Pakistan’s agricultural sector has been hit by loss of crop yields as well as livestock, as well as damage to irrigation infrastructure and food shortages caused by changes in the climate, and particularly intense droughts that have hit regions like the Punjab province” declared Najy Benhassine. World Bank Country Director for Pakistan.
“This project is aligned to the Punjab Agriculture Policy 2018, that encourages an enormous expansion of conservation efforts, while promoting resilience and sustainability in the context of climate change and also private sector participation in order to boost the efficiency of the industry.”
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The PRIAT project will assist farmers in implementing new, innovative and climate-friendly technologies to assist the Punjab government to achieve economies of scale that can improve the efficiency of agriculture. The project will work with the private sector in the search for suitable technology and will provide customized training specifically for water users groups and households to enhance irrigation practices and increase efficiency.
“The agricultural sector is the potential to strengthen climate resilience as well as improve the economic situation by providing access to both international and domestic market,” said Guo Li the Task Team Leader for the project. “PRIAT can help speed up the efforts of the government to improve the agri-food industry through market-oriented production processes that increase value, improve competitiveness, and increase the income of farmers.”
World Bank informed that the project will benefit the 190,000 family-owned small farms as well as 1.4 million acres irrigation land in rural communities of the province. “It will also offer training to small and medium-sized farmers about water conservation, as well as more sustainable, climate-friendly agriculture practices, including for female farmers,” the bank said.