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International Trade Centre launching project to reduce poverty in Pakistan

International Trade Centre launching project to reduce poverty in Pakistan

ISLAMABAD: The Geneva-based International Trade Centre – the joint agency of the United Nations and the World Trade Organization – is launching a project to reduce poverty in Pakistan by strengthening small-scale agribusinesses in Balochistan and Sindh.

The project known as ‘Growth for rural advancement and sustainable progress (GRASP) will help small and medium-sized enterprises in horticulture and livestock become more competitive by making improvements at all levels of the value chain.

A nine-month inception phase just started, which will assess the capacity of firms and needs at the farm and consumer levels. During this phase, value chain analyses will be carried out for selected sectors, to be refined through stakeholder consultations in Sindh and Balochistan.

Demand for safe, nutritious and quality food is rising in Pakistan, and by improving product quality at every stage, from planting to production to packaging and transport, small-scale agribusinesses including those led by women and youth will increase their productivity and profitability.

Adviser to Prime Minister Abdul Razzaq Dawood said that economic recovery and sustainable growth are at the heart of the current government economic policies. The Growth for Rural Advancement and Sustainable Progress (GRASP) project of the European Union (EU) and International Trade Centre (ITC) comes at a time when the government is geared up for reform and improvement in the economic sectors. Small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) make up the bulk of businesses in Pakistan.

In order to achieve coherent, broad-based and sustainable economic growth, there is a need to focus on SMEs and unlock the potential in livestock and horticulture besides other sectors in the country. We look forward to an improvement in the business environment, selected agriculture value chains, productivity and agribusiness services with the support of our partners.