KARACHI-A MoU has been signed between NBP and US-based Winrock International Institute for Agricultural Development (Winrock) for collaboration between the two organizations to look at increasing ways and means of credit availability to farmers, processors and service providers and enhancing financial literacy in selected areas and crops. Initial focus will be on four non-major crops namely dates, banana, tomato and red chili. Winrock is being represented via its Pakistan office through the Pakistan Agriculture Development Project (PAD) and is undertaking tasks on value chain development in the four crops in 12 districts (6 each in Sindh and Punjab). Winrock International is a recognized leader in US and international development, providing solutions to some of the world’s most complex social, agricultural and environmental challenges. It is a non-profit organization that implements a portfolio of more than 140 agriculture, environment and social development projects in over 46 countries. NBP is Pakistan’s largest public sector commercial bank, providing a diverse range of products and services to the agriculture sector. The Bank is taking initiatives for increasing market penetration and growth in the priority sectors of the economy by developing and strengthening value chains between producers, processors, exporters and financial institutions.

The Inclusive Development Group (IDG) within NBP is spearheading these initiatives and is engaged in focusing on financial inclusion of underserved sectors that have significant business potential.

NBP and Winrock will collaborate to bring together their respective experiences and expertise to facilitate farmers and related value chain partners to promote better standards for farming and processing. Credit plays a vital role in enabling the adoption of best practices for improving crop productivity, reducing losses, value addition and consequently enhancing profitability. NBP will collaborate with Winrock to enable credit flow to farmers and agribusinesses thereby enabling the adoption of modern inputs and technologies in the farm-to-fork value chain for the four crops. The effort is expected to result in improved crop productivity, reduced post-harvest losses and consequently increased incomes. Similarly, it will facilitate processors and other potential value chain partners i.e. agri related businesses to acquire new or scale-up existing infrastructure/technology and improve business profitability. The expected outcome of the collaboration between NBP and Winrock is to create a win-win situation for all stakeholders and contribute to growth in Pakistan’s economy.