Wednesday, May 28: ISLAMABAD: The Aga Khan Rural Support Programme (AKRSP) has adopted a two-pronged strategy for development of agriculture sector, which has helped bring down poverty in the Northern Areas.
“We have adopted a two-pronged strategy i.e. agriculture for poverty reduction and livelihood security and value and chain development in agriculture for improved access to markets for poverty alleviation in the area,” Izhar Ali Hunzai, the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the AKRSP, told a seminar on “Agriculture for Development” here on Tuesday.
The AKRSP is the largest development network in the region and playing an important role in the socio economic development of the area. “Over 20,000 farmers have been trained in improved cultivation, post harvest and drying methods,” he remarked.
Izhar said that the AKRSP’s interventions in social and agriculture sectors had helped in improving the living conditions of the people, especially the common man and the poverty in the area had also been brought down to 25 percent. He added that under the strategy, holistic and community-based approach to the National Resource Management (NRM) and livelihood security, extensive farming through community-led infrastructure, land, water, pasture and forestry development, intensive farming to increase productivity through prevention of losses and introduction of new technology and improved management practices, a participatory Research and Development service interventions had been adopted.
Regarding the value chain in agriculture, he said that selecting promising sectors and sub sectors with potentially large multiple effect, social organisation for aggregating small surpluses to generate marketable volumes, agribusiness intermediation for inputs and services, and building capacities of farmers and service providers, small infrastructure, including farm to market roads, physical and virtual markets and strengthening public sector capacity for standards, certification, access top information and enabling fiscal and pricing policy were the aims of the project. The AKRSP revolves around community-based organisations with focus on rural development.