ISLAMABAD: Pakistan and the Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) of the United Nations have signed a new five-year Country Programming Framework [CPF] covering the 2018-22 period that will focus on three priority areas of zero-hunger, climate-smart resilient agriculture and inclusive and efficient agriculture and food systems.
The new framework is aligned with the United Nations Development Assistance Framework for Pakistan and the government priority areas as defined in the Vision-2025.
Minister for National Food Security and Research Sahibzada Mehboob Sultan and FAO representative in Pakistan Mina Dowlatchahi signed the framework at a ceremony on Thursday.
Mr Sultan said that Pakistan-FAO collaboration had positive history and the UN agency had been supporting food security and agriculture and “we are moving towards achieving greater goals”.
Programme aligned to sustainable development goals
Speaking on the occasion, Mina Dowlatchahi said that CPF would mark another five years with Pakistan and “we are here to serve for the betterment of the people of Pakistan and we take into account the matters like climate and value chain. We are aligned to sustainable development goals”.
Dowlatchahi was hopeful that the implementation of CPF would contribute to the achievement of no poverty, zero hunger, food security and improved nutrition, gender equality, clean water and sanitation, responsible consumption and production, climate action, life below water, life on land and partnership for the goals.
The FAO will support the implementation of the first national food security policy approved early this year; multi-sectoral nutrition strategy, twelfth five years plan on nutrition and development and implementation of provincial agriculture policies; food safety policy; drought management and mitigation policies.
Under the framework, the FAO will support the development of model ‘Climate Smart Agriculture’ villages which will be further up scaled throughout Pakistan.
Parallel to this, the FAO will also take into account capacity development of government departments, family farmers and livestock keepers in climate resilient agriculture and smart water practices.
To streamline social protection systems, the FAO will initiate and strengthen risk transfer mechanisms, including crop and livestock insurance schemes and access to financial institutions, on district and provincial levels.
Since most of the arable land in Pakistan is already cultivated, productivity gains are achieved through increased cropping intensity and the higher use of fertilisers, in the next four years, the FAO will raise the awareness and promote the use of Right Fertiliser at the Right rate at the Right time (4R) concept and manure, to improve soil management as an integral element of sustainable agriculture growth strategies.
As part of the CPF implementation, the FAO will support creation of rural employment opportunities, private sector engagement and entrepreneurship opportunities in agri-business development.
The UN agency will also support the development and dissemination of different knowledge products such as food security and nutrition information system and strengthen the capacity of federal and provincial government officials, family farmers, market actors to utilise national and provincial agriculture, water and food information systems.
Published in Dawn, December 21st, 2018