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Islamabad, August 29, 2016: The Pakistan Poverty Alleviation Fund and Sona Welfare Foundation – the CSR wing of the Fauji Fertilizer Company signed a MoU to jointly fund an Agricultural Value Chain initiative. The PKR 21.93 million project aims to provide timely and productive loans to small farmers which will be complemented by services from the FFC Agri Extension Services Department including the sharing of latest farming practices.
The project will be implemented through PPAF’s partner organization, the NRSP Bank, in union councils Khuda Bukhsh Mehr and Mad Pir Wah of Tehsil Ahmad Pur East in District Bahawalpur.
Under this collaboration, assistance will be provided in farmer profiling, training of farmers on crop productivity enhancement and good agricultural practices and provisioning of micronutrients as training inputs. Other activities include social mobilization, launch of NEFR pest management, establishing and certifying all related and relevant backward and forward linkages, and deployment of SMS services for 300 farmers. Moreover, SWF will provide necessary agricultural inputs including Zinc, Boron and other similar products, along with technical trainings on agriculture to selected farmers, while PPAF will provide loans to 300 farmers through the NRSP Bank.
PPAF has been designing and implementing multi-pronged value chains to transform lives of poor communities across Pakistan. PPAF’s Agriculture Value Chain project implemented in Bahawalpur and Gujranwala has benefitted more than 18,000 farmers through provisioning of extension services along with specialized financial product and trainings. Linkages, capacity building of farmers and crop yield micro-insurance were integral components of the AVC intervention, whereby 34,503 acres of land were insured for 12,396 farmers. As a result of the AVC project, an increase of 21% and 13% was recorded in wheat and cotton crops of farmers, while a 13% cost reduction was recorded in crop cultivation practices of farmers.
Fauji Fertilizer Company is the leading manufacturer of quality fertilizer in Pakistan. Under its CSR initiatives the Company is supporting the largest farmer advisory program in Pakistan, which since 1982 has reached out to over 1.8 million farmers through free of cost micro nutrition, water and soil tests in addition to expert advisory and capacity building services.
The PPAF and FFC collaboration will empower farmers growing cotton, to reach the best quality of seed, farming techniques and fertilizer for the ongoing season. The farmers will have continuous support and expertise of FFC agriculture experts at hand through the FFC Farmer Center established at Bahawalpur, while the PPAF loans will help farmers in bearing input costs.