U.S.-KP-Telenor Partnership Helps Swat Farmers Use New Mobile Technology to Improve Livelihoods

Pilot for Information and Financial Mobile Solutions - MoU Signing
Mr. Alan Davis, Director Economic Growth and Agriculture briefed the audience on USAID's overall contribution in Pakistan's economic and agricultural development.
Shehla Rizwan-USAID Pakistan

For Immediate Release

Friday, April 19, 2013

Islamabad, April 19, 2013– Peach and potato farmers in Swat will be able to increase their incomes, improve their access to markets, and fight crop diseases more effectively thanks to a new USAID-funded program conducted in partnership with the Khyber Pakhtunhwa (KP) government and Telenor Pakistan.  The program will use Telenor’s mobile network to send farmers SMS messages and interactive voice recordings that provide customized information on crop prices, market access, and disease prevention.  The project will also establish trading centers to help farmers increase sales by improving the way they market their goods.  

“Equipped with a better understanding of market prices and trends, Swat farmers will now be able to maximize their profits by selling their crops when the market price is up,” said USAID Mission Director Jock Conly at the official signing ceremony of a memorandum of understanding between USAID, the KP government, and Telenor at the Serena Hotel in Islamabad.  “Through programs like these, the U.S. government, through USAID, is improving the livelihoods of farmers in Swat.”
 
“We know that information systems can help play a vital role in developing Pakistan’s agriculture sector, and we would like to thank the government of KP and USAID for extending resources and invaluable support to make this venture possible,” said Irfan Wahab Khan, Vice President of Telenor Pakistan.  
 
“This program will not only help bring economic prosperity to the region, but also encourage technological advancement, which is fundamental to the progress of our nation,” added KP Agriculture Secretary Mohammad Afsar Khan.
 
This mobile technology partnership for Swat farmers is part of the USAID Firms Project, which works to increase the profitability and incomes of small and medium-sized enterprises, including farmers, throughout Pakistan.  The Firms Project focuses on catalyzing private-sector development and job growth in key agricultural sectors.  It is helping to create dynamic, internationally-competitive businesses and agricultural enterprises in Pakistan's most vulnerable areas by increasing access to technology, markets, and finance. 
 
USAID Firms is part of a comprehensive U.S. economic growth assistance program which includes expanding irrigation by more than 200,000 acres near the Gomal Zam and Satpara dams, constructing more than 1,000 km of roads to connect communities and facilitate trade, modernizing dairy farms in Punjab, and launching a private equity investment fund to help small and medium businesses grow.
 

Last updated: March 12, 2014

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