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LAHORE: The Secretary of Agriculture, Punjab, conducted a review of the government of Punjab’s unilateral trust fund agreement with the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) for the project titled “Transforming Indus Basin with Climate Resilient Agriculture & Water Management”. The meeting took place at the Civil Secretariat on Tuesday.

During the occasion, Iftikhar Ali Sahoo, Secretary of Agriculture, Punjab, expressed that this project will greatly benefit over 1.3 million farmers in the targeted districts of South Punjab, including DG Khan, Khanewal, Lodhran, Multan, and Muzaffargarh.

The project aims to promote the adoption and utilization of climate-smart resilient agriculture practices and on-farm management techniques.

Furthermore, Sahoo mentioned that the project will strengthen the institutional and regulatory systems related to agriculture, irrigation, and water management.

The Government of Punjab is co-financing the project with US$8 million, which will be transferred to FAO through the unilateral agreement fund to assist the vulnerable farming community.

The Agriculture Department of Punjab is committed to providing full support for the successful implementation of the project, focusing on climate-smart and irrigated agriculture development in the province.

Ms Florence Rolle, the FAO Representative, highlighted that the project’s main objectives are to enhance resilience to climate change among the most vulnerable farming communities in the Indus Basin and to strengthen the capacity of the public and private sectors for climate-smart agriculture development.

The Director General of Agriculture (Water Management), Punjab, shared that the total project cost is US$47.69 million, with US$34.99 million allocated as a Green Climate Smart Grant. The Government of Punjab is contributing US$8.0 million as co-financing for project implementation.

He further emphasized that the project will enhance the farming community’s capacity to adapt to on-farm climate threats while also strengthening the regulatory system.

The meeting was attended by Ms Florence Rolle, FAO Representative in Pakistan, Ms Emelda Berejena, Technical Advisor for the GCF Project, along with Director General of Agriculture (Water Management) Malik Muhammad Akram, Chief of the Planning & Evaluation Cell Rana Mehmood, and other officials.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2023

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