The Embassy of the Kingdom of the Netherlands hosted the start-up of supports for small potato growers in Punjab, Pakistan.
The two and a half year project, which is supported by the Netherlands Enterprise Agency (RVO), aims to help increase the productivity and sustainability of 960 small potato growers in Punjab’s four core districts (Sahiwal, Okara, Kasur and Pakpattan) and pays special attention to the empowerment of women. The project will be carried out by the Center for Agriculture and Biosciences International (CABI) and Wageningen University & Research.
The event was attended by Syed Fakhar Imam, the Federal Minister for National Food Security and Research, Babar Bajwa, the CABI Regional Director for Asia and Afaq Tiwana, the Chairman of the Pakistan Farmers Association. Janny Vos, from CABI and Herman Schoorlemmer from Wageningen University Research, virtually took part in the event.
In his welcome speech, Dutch ambassador Wouter Plomp (third from left in the group photo) said that nutrition security is a growing problem worldwide, especially in this region due to climate change and rapid population growth. “It is a challenge for Pakistan to meet the demand for nutritious food and the Netherlands has the knowledge, technology and skills to help Pakistan overcome these challenges. For example, Pakistan imports 13,000 tons of seed potatoes per year from the Netherlands.”
The Minister of National Food Security and Research appreciated the support of the Dutch government in building the capacity of growers and indicated that the government is committed to strengthening the horticultural sector, as it forms the backbone of the Pakistani economy. The minister recognized the Netherlands’ achievements in horticulture and hoped that Pakistani growers will acquire techniques and skills to increase their yields.
For more information: netherlandsandyou.nl