Peshawar- The Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) of the United Nations inaugurated vegetable and livestock market infrastructures established in Bara Khyber District with financial support from the United States Agency for International Development (USAID). Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Deputy Commissioner of Khyber District, local district administration and FAO officials participated in the launch event. Julie Koenen, Mission Director USAID Pakistan and Mina Dowlatchahi, FAO Representative in Pakistan through video messages appreciated the strong partnership between Government of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, FAO, USAID and the local communities. The event was held in strict compliance with COVID-19 prevention protocols.
This intervention is a part of the restoration and establishment of new market infrastructure and enterprise development services under which 13 cluster-based packing sheds, five fruit and vegetable auction sheds and three livestock markets will be established in the Districts of Khyber, North and South Waziristan. Specifically in District Khyber, the project has successfully completed three market structures including one livestock market, one fruit and vegetable packing shed and one fruit and vegetable auction shed. The vegetable and fruit enterprise establishment will not only support value chain development and improved agriculture practices in the merged districts for year round production, but will also provide a viable environment for vegetable and livestock management creating market linkages for farmers amid COVID-19.
Deputy Commissioner Khyber district, Mr. Mahmood Aslam appreciated the efforts of FAO and USAID stating that there is more scope for supporting agriculture in the remote areas of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa. He assured government’s support and cooperation for the developmental work in the merged districts of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa.
“FAO is supporting the restoration of subsistence and commercial agriculture for 42,763 households in the newly merged districts of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa under the USAID funded project. The project aims to significantly contribute to the peace and development of the region by reducing poverty, and economic inequalities through the resumption of food production and restoration and improvement of agriculture-based livelihoods in the target areas, despite COVID19. The revitalization and modernization of market and of local agriculture systems, together with capacity development of Farmers Collective Centres and Farmer Field School approach, under strict COVID19 SOPs, has allowed to strengthen the agriculture supply chain. In turn, this has contributed to help counter some of the socio-economic impacts in these areas”, said Mina Dowlatchahi, FAO Representative in Pakistan.