Capacity building initiatives can elevate the agricultural sector to a huge extent

By Ahsan Jamil

The business growth in any sector is proportional to financial and human capital, business ethics, compliance of protocols etc. The commercial value of an enterprise is marked by the correlation of its set targets with the actual outcomes. The financial inflow and outflow management is an art as well as a science. The progressive organizations therefore stress on capacity building to restructure their business and establish it on modern pattern to remain at par with their contemporaries and boost the efficiency of the organization.

The United States Agency for International Development (USAID) has launched Agricultural Market Development (AMD) initiative to uplift agri sector productivity in Pakistan, in a recently held ceremony. The programme will bring $21 million worth capacity building projects that comprise of series of grants, training sessions, and advancement of farming techniques to boost the overall agricultural production. The Human Resource Development (HRD) in agri sector in its various domains will be certainly proliferate the production for domestic needs but will also help to considerable enlarge the export of different agricultural commodities thus enhancing the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) and generating revenue to the national exchequer.

John Groarke, Mission Director of USAID Pakistan said during launching of the AMD programme, “The United States remains strongly committed to creating economic growth and employment opportunities for the people of Pakistan, and considers the agricultural sector a critical priority. USAID is confident that our investments, in partnership with Government of Pakistan, will increase the linkages between Pakistani farmers and international markets to help promote a more prosperous, stale, and food secure nation”.

“We are working hard to register farming communities under this programme to enhance their capacity. This programme will introduce new farming techniques and there adaptation for farming communities across Pakistan. To ensure the food security, cost effectivity, and value addition in the agri products, AMD programme have the immense potential and Im very much optimistic this programme will knit the agri sector of Pakistan as it will blaze the national economy sizably in coming years”, said by Dr Mubarik Ahmed, DG Plant Protection Department, MNFSandR while talking to Technology Times.

The preliminary arithmetic analysis reveal that the AMD programme will enhance the sales of Pakistani meat, vegetables, fruits to as much as $140 million in the next four years. It is relatable to mention that USAID`s economic growth program had created over 23,000 jobs since 2012 and introduced new technologies and management practices to more than 118,000 farmers on 60,000 hectares.

Peter Dickrell, Chief of Party, Cultivating New Frontiers in Agriculture (CNFA), AMD, told this scribe; “CNFAs mission is to stimulate economic growth and improve rural livelihoods in the developing world by empowering the private sector. We want to improve the livelihood of local farmers and to improve their productivity and income”.

The agricultural sector at present constitutes 21% in GDP and AMD will act as a buoyant force to bring it at desirable level giving answer to various irking questions. The opening up of new avenues of employment, creation of trade hubs to bridge gap between the whole supply chain, improving yields, boosting exports are the salient outlines on which the AMD`s programme charter is laid upon.

The agricultural experts, professionals, researchers outline the importance of building trained human resource in agriculture sector and deem it as elixir for many copious challenges hurling within the sector including food insecurity, worn-out techniques, inadequate marketing portals to showcase the agri products and huge gap between farmers, distributors, retailers and consumers.

The slipshod efforts from government counterparts are inadequate to suffice these as country is grappled with several other internal and external challenges therefore government priorities are much divided. The USAID takes lead amongst existing INGOs by promulgation of such outstanding initiative of AMD. The public sector organizations working in agri sector must also replicate such initiatives under umbrella of government to exploit the maximum potential out of this sector which can undoubtedly make country a phoenix in the region as well as in the entire globe.

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