Tuesday May 21, 2024

‘Agri initiatives to be supported’

By Our Correspondent
March 25, 2023

Islamabad:The importance of the agriculture and livestock sectors in the economic development of Balochistan emphasised. Malik Abdul Wali Kakar, governor Balochistan, expressed commitment to fully support agri-businesses, particularly by developing and strengthening the value-chain in diverse sectors of the agri economy.

At a ceremony organised by Growth for Rural Advancement and Sustainable Progress (GRASP), the governor distributed Matching Grants worth Rs260 million to uplift the business potential of 117 small and medium enterprises (SMEs), including 26 women-led SMEs. The beneficiary SMEs are in ten districts across the province. The grants, which ranged from Rs0.5 to 30 million, were awarded based on robust evaluation of the business plans shared by the SMEs.

The GRASP Project, which is funded by the European Union (EU) and implemented by the International Trade Centre (ITC) in partnership with Pakistan Poverty Alleviation Fund (PPAF) and Food & Agriculture Organisation (FAO), was termed a game-changer for the economic development of rural areas by the governor. He appreciated the contribution of EU, PPAF, and ITC and encouraged relevant line departments of the provincial government to allocate more funds to promote SMEs venturing into agri-businesses.

COO of PPAF, Nadir Gul Barech, highlighted the organisation’s mission to serve underserved regions of the country and praised the GRASP Project for making a positive impact in the 10 districts of the province where it is being implemented.

He added, “It is truly uplifting to witness the positive impact of this project on the most vulnerable areas, as it not only enables market growth but also generates employment opportunities for the poorest communities.”

Noor Muhammad Dumar, Minister Planning and Development of Balochistan, and Roshan Khursheed Bharucha, former chairperson PPAF, also spoke on the occasion