The Government of Japan has provided a US$5,2 million grant to the United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO) to support agri-food and agro-industry development in the Pakistani provinces of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and Balochistan.
Pakistani Federal Minister of National Food Security and Research, Sahibzada Muhammad Mehboob Sultan said, “Agriculture ensures food security and a growing agricultural sector boosts the national economy, reduces poverty and improves access to quality and safe food. Our new National Food Security Policy will improve diversification with an enhanced focus on high value horticulture and livestock.”
UNIDO will use the grant to enhance productive and compliance capacities of relevant actors in the cattle meat value chain within selected production areas in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, including Peshawar, Abbottabad, Kohistan and D.I. Khan, and in the apple value chain in Balochistan, and especially in Killa Saifullah, Killa Abdullah, Pishin and Quetta.
Japanese Ambassador, Kuninori Matsuda said, “Pakistan’s agricultural sector is one of Japan’s priority areas. The project will reduce food losses, improve supply chain management and will add more value to products, which will lead to more income generation and which, in turn, will contribute to the socio-economic stability of the targeted provinces.”
The project will also support governmental bodies to offer sustainable and upscaled services to the industry with the aim of improving the livelihood of participants in the value chains, also of food manufacturers and processors across the two Pakistani provinces.
JICA Chief Representative, Shigeki Furuta said, “The diversification of the farmers’ income and the development of assets through high-value livestock and fruit tree crops are central to the Japan International Cooperation Agency’s Agriculture Programme. We believe UNIDO and its partner agencies in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and Balochistan will be able to develop and strengthen the capacity of producers and processors engaged in the cattle meat and apple value chains.”
UNIDO Country Representative, Nadia Aftab said, “UNIDO has a long-standing tradition of collaborating with, and providing technical assistance to the government of Pakistan. We are very grateful to the Government of Japan for its financial assistance and its continued support to bringing about inclusive and sustainable industrial development around the world. This unique initiative marks the first direct UNIDO-JICA collaboration to better selected communities in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and Balochistan while working very closely with the Federal Ministry of National Food Security and Research.”
Notes related to the project were signed and exchanged between the Japanese Ambassador to Pakistan and the UNIDO Country Representative, with the grant agreement was signed and exchanged between JICA’s Chief Representative of Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) and the UNIDO Country Representative in the presence of the Federal Minister of National Food Security and Research.