A memorandum of understanding (MoU) has been signed between SMEDA and International Trade Centre (ITC) to reduce poverty by strengthening small-scale agribusinesses in Pakistan.
The selective activities of the European Union-funded project ‘growth of rural advancement and sustainable progress (GRASP)’ will be jointly implemented by SMEDA and ITC in Balochistan and Sindh provinces.
Speaking on the occasion, Federal Minister for Industries and Production, Syed Murtaza Mehmud, expressed hope that the implementation of the GRASP project will help unlock the potential in livestock, dairy, and horticulture sectors and urged to expand the programme to the other areas of south Punjab, KPK and Fata.
He said that the project is expected to facilitate access to credit for medium, small, and micro rural enterprises through relevant market actors in the ecosystem and contribute to the betterment of the business environment surrounding SMEs.
The project will help small and medium-sized enterprises in horticulture, livestock, and dairy as Pakistan is the 5th largest milk-producing country in the world, he added.
The GRASP project is likely to complete in six years at the cost of $1.8 million and would ensure the provision of a congenial business environment to small farmers, besides providing grants and technical assistance to improve value chain, yield, quality, access to market information and improvement in standards.
Federal Secretary of the Ministry of Industries and Production, Imadadullah Bosal, and officials of SMEDA and ITC were also present at the occasion.