Contributed by Madeleine Kaufmann, CABI Switzerland, with information from CABI Pakistan.
Agriculture is the mainstay of Pakistan’s economy. It engages nearly half of the country’s workforce and accounts for over 20% of GDP. Together with agro-based products, agriculture contributes 80% of the country’s total export earnings.
But despite the economic importance of agriculture, many young people and women have little access to information that could help them improve their future farming careers and livelihoods. Each year, the number of young people and women choosing to farm for a living is going down. Left unchecked, this reduction in the farming workforce will affect the future of sustainable food production and, ultimately, food security in Pakistan.
Working directly with local communities, the CABI team has been working to enhance the skills of young people and women in particular, enabling them to get better jobs or generate income through self-employment. It develops capacity in kitchen gardening along with vocational skills. The project also focus on improving basic literacy and enterprise based skills. Also good links with local markets are created so that those in the training group can sell their produce and improve their livelihoods.
So far, the first 240 beneficiaries have been successfully trained by CABI and the Punjab Skills Development Fund. Many have gone on to start their own small businesses where they grow organic vegetables in their own gardens. These are then sold to neighbours and in local markets. The second batch of 500 trainees is currently in progress.
Read the story of Sajda and Yasmeen, two trained farming women. Due to kitchen gardening training they are now able to support their families.
Find more information about the project here: http://www.cabi.org/projects/project/44324
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nice video i appreciate cabi work and project team