LAHORE - The United States Agency for International Development (USAID) and Agribusiness Support Fund (ASF) will jointly implement a five-year USAID’s Agribusiness Project to increase competitiveness and productivity of horticulture and livestock sectors.

“This project is part of the broader US Government commitment to help strengthen Pakistan’s economy,” said Dr. Andrew Sisson, Director of the USAID office in Islamabad. “The project will have a positive transformative effect on Pakistan’s agriculture sector and will assist in alleviating poverty through economic development”, he said in a statement issued here Tuesday. Although agriculture constitutes the largest sector in Pakistan’s economy, it accounts only for a small part of the gross domestic product.

Even though worldwide, the horticulture and livestock sub-sectors generate the largest share of revenues in the agricultural sector, here in Pakistan, these two sub-sectors have not yet reached their full potential. The two sectors are burdened by inefficient production and marketing systems, lack awareness about supply and market chains, and are unable to supply the amounts of quality product to satisfy requirements of markets.

Over the next five years, the USAID’s Agribusiness Project will be helping livestock and horticulture producers and processors to improve their productivity and product quality. The project will also work to identify and remove constraints for growth in these sectors, fuel investment, improve links with domestic and global markets, and create employment opportunities in rural areas.

To achieve these goals, the project will cooperate with Farmer Enterprise Group members, associations, cooperatives, individual and corporate farmers, research and development organizations, extension providers,and other companies. Thousands of farmers and agribusinesses will benefit from these activities.

USAID’s partner for this project, ASF, is a locally registered development organization with rich experience in the Pakistan agriculture sector.