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October 25, 2020

Project to uplift rural MSMEs launched in Pakistan

Islamabad

October 25, 2020

Islamabad : A virtual ceremony to launch a project funded by the European Union to uplift micro, small and medium agribusinesses in rural areas of Balochistan and Sindh was held.

Participants from the government, research and academia, development partners and public and private institutions and organisations attended the launch of Growth for Rural Advancement and Sustainable Progress (GRASP) project.

GRASP is implemented by the International Trade Centre (ITC) – the joint agency of the United Nations and the World Trade Organization – with participation from implementing partners.

Working in 11 districts of Sindh and 10 districts of Balochistan, GRASP will work to connect farmers to the market and will address issues along the whole of that value chain. It focuses on the demand side: what markets, buyers and consumers want, and then drills down to the supply side by equipping producers and the micro, small and medium-sized enterprises with the skills, technology and services needed to meet that demand. The programme will help enterprises in the horticulture and livestock sectors become more competitive by supporting improvements at all levels of the value chain.

Speaking at the ceremony, Abdul Razak Dawood, Advisor to the Prime Minister for Commerce, Textile, Industry, and Production and Investment Government of Pakistan said, “I am confident the implementation of activities focused on SMEs will help unlock the potential in livestock and horticulture besides other sectors in the country that have been recently presented with additional challenges due to COVID-19.”

Ambassador of the European Union to Pakistan, Androulla Kaminara said, ''Aligned with the European Union’s global development agenda and the EU’s three focus areas in Pakistan – Education, Rural development and Governance & human rights – the GRASP project is expected to positively contribute to the betterment of business environment surrounding SME’s. SME’s represent most of the employment opportunities in the country and for this reason are very important. We are confident that through this initiative, horticulture, livestock, and dairy sector will become more competitive across value chains, ultimately reducing poverty and generating economic momentum for rural SME’s in Pakistan.”