The $200 million financial aid from the World Bank for eastern Punjab’s agricultural sector can be seen as a silver lining for the agro-based economy of Pakistan. The funds will be invested under the Punjab Resilient and Inclusive Agriculture Transformation (PRIAT) project, whose central focus will be to uplift economic growth, provide food security, introduce climate-smart technologies, and boost activities at the micro level. Since Punjab contributes 73% to Pakistan’s total food production – harvesting all the major food crops – the upright execution of the project will do wonders.
In recent years, following political instability, climate change, and drought, the agricultural players have suffered massively with damage to the irrigation infrastructure and losses in crop yield and livestock. The International Forum for Rights and Security has highlighted the decline in economic and market conditions for farmers in Pakistan. Thus, the project is tailored to recover all those losses and also to skyrocket the current revenue.
According to the World Bank’s report, the project will completely align with Punjab’s agricultural policy of 2018, thereby paving the road to strategies that aim at conserving water resources via the implementation of new techniques. The task team leader for the project, Guo Li, said:
“PRIAT will help accelerate the government’s efforts to transform the agri-food system through market-oriented production activities that add value, increase competitiveness and generate higher incomes for farmers.”
The project will strengthen the potential of the private sector by inviting the actors to train associations and households on water conservation practices, and source the required mechanics. The deal with the World Bank can back the sagging economy of Pakistan. The World Bank summed up the report by highlighting the following milestones the project aims to achieve:
- Fund 190,000 family-owned farms
- Enrich 1.4 million acres of irrigated land in rural areas
- Conduct training sessions for farmers on water conservation methods
- Hone climate-friendly practices
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