Government and UN work together in strengthening agriculture, livestock and fisheries in Balochistan

Quetta, Balochistan 12 July 2023: To mobilize policy support for driving a sectoral development and fostering climate-smart practices in agriculture and fisheries, the Government of Balochistan (GoB) joins hands with The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) through a Unilateral Trust Fund (UTF) agreement signed at the FAO Office in Quetta yesterday (12 July). The collaboration will be implemented through Gwadar – Lasbela Livelihood Support Project (GLLSP-II), a project financed by the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD)

Florence Rolle, FAO Representative in Pakistan, and Rehmat Dashti, Project Director, GLLSP-II signed the agreement.

Jointly implemented by GOB the National Rural Support Programme (NRSP), FAO, and the World Food Programme (WFP), the six-year project aims to promote climate-resilient agriculture and livestock farming systems, empower smallholder with knowledge and skills and enable them to build better resilience.

FAO will provide technical assistance to the project, which will employ the Farmer Field School (FFS) approach. Through FFS, the project seeks to create an inclusive learning environment that fosters knowledge sharing and skill development among farmers. GLLSP II is committed to promoting gender equality and youth engagement, ensuring that everyone has an equal opportunity to benefit from the program. The project will also provide policy support to create enabling condition in the fisheries sector, which will benefit 100,000 rural households in Gwadar and Lasbela districts.

“Our aim is to train 30,000 farmers and provide them with in-situ demonstrations. Through this collaboration, the project aims to obtain technical assistance for various aspects such as Training of Trainers (ToT), curricula development, and training for small-holder farmers to enhance their capacities on climate resilience Through interactive sessions and hands-on experiences, participants will gain invaluable insights, enabling them to adopt modern techniques and improve their farming practices,” said Rehmat Dashti.

Florence Rolle, FAO Representative in Pakistan, emphasized FAO’s commitment to promoting sustainable agricultural practices and improving the resilience of vulnerable rural households. She said, “GLLSP-II reflects FAO’s dedication to supporting sustainable agriculture practices. “We believe that our partnership with the Government of Balochistan, NRSP, and IFAD will bring about positive changes in the lives of farmers, livestock keepers, and fishing communities, ultimately contributing to food security and the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs),” she added.

The Secretary Fisheries Department of GoB Hafiz Muhammad Tahir thanked IFAD and FAO for their technical support in government initiatives for the development of People living under the poverty level. He urged the belief that these interventions under the Government of Balochistan IFAD-funded Project GLLSP-II will achieve the targets for the empowerment of the people especially capacity building of the fisheries department.

“Targeted support in sectoral development in agriculture is essential as it equips us with the knowledge, expertise, and innovative solutions for addressing the ever-evolving challenges in our agricultural systems. When we can increase productivity, promote sustainable practices, and build resilient communities, we pave the way for a thriving and food-secure future. And by uniting our efforts within the Rome Based Agencies, sharing expertise, and aligning resources, we can achieve results in transforming rural lives,” said Arnoud Hameleers, IFAD Country Director for Pakistan.

FAO Pakistan has extensive expertise in addressing climate change, farmer field schools, and farmer business schools, making it a key player in developing and implementing innovative strategies to mitigate the impact of climate change on agriculture. Through its programs across  Pakistan, FAO has successfully promoted sustainable farming practices, resilient agricultural systems, and the adoption of climate-smart technologies. The organization’s Farmer Field Schools serve as crucial platforms for knowledge exchange and capacity building, empowering farmers with practical skills and techniques to improve productivity and resilience. Moreover, FAO’s farmer business schools equip farmers with essential entrepreneurial skills, enabling effective farm management, market access, and income generation. FAO Pakistan has also actively supported interventions to enhance the livestock sector, focusing on production, health, and management. By leveraging its comparative advantage, FAO, through GLSPP-II, remains at the forefront of driving sustainable development in the agriculture, livestock, and fisheries sectors.

IFAD is investing in rural development through five ongoing projects in Pakistan spread across the country. IFAD works closely with the government, local communities, and other partners to address the specific needs and challenges faced by smallholder farmers and vulnerable groups in ensuring sustainable agriculture, natural resource management, rural infrastructure, access to assets, and financial services. Read more about IFAD’s work in Pakistan.

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