Today the United States Govt marked the successful completion of a seven-year initiative to support the dairy, horticulture, and livestock sectors in Punjab.
The Punjab Enabling Environment Project (PEEP), a partnership between the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), the Punjab Government, and several private sector partners added more than 16,000 jobs to the Pakistani economy and leveraged approximately $240 million in private sector investment in the agricultural sector.
PEEP improved the enabling environment for the agriculture sector in Punjab by promoting private sector led growth, especially in horticulture, dairy, and livestock sub-sectors.
The project also supported policy, advocacy, and regulatory reforms through a partnership with the provincial government, private sector, associations, civil society organizations, and academia.
“The most extraordinary thing about the achievements we are celebrating today is that they are very likely just the beginning of a much longer story,” said USAID Mission Director Julie Koenen.
“In many cases, the good work of the institutions supported by PEEP will continue to impact communities in Punjab well into the future.
I would like to thank the Government of Punjab and all the partners in the academia and private sector for their support.”
Among the successes of the PEEP project are the establishments of the Center for Excellence in Olive Research and Training and the Olive Foundation at the Barani Agricultural Research Institute in Chakwal, and the Center for Applied Policy and Research in Livestock Studies (CAPRIL) at the University of Veterinary and Animal Sciences in Lahore.
To date, CAPRIL has completed 18 studies including one on the adaptability of the Holstein cows in Punjab, leading to the import of more than 12,000 animals.
PEEP also provided support to the Punjab Halal Development Agency in acquiring accreditation, and the institutional capacity to certify 61 companies on halal slaughtering standards and practices.
PEEP included initiatives for the economic growth of female livestock and dairy farmers. In Bahawalpur and Dera Ghazi Khan, the project supported 2,770 women in animal husbandry and business training.
USAID also linked women farmers with micro-finance institutions to sustain and grow their businesses.
PEEP also supported the integration of small holders into the milk value chain by training 190-woman dairy farmers and 16 milk traders and the provision of motorcycle-mounted milk chillers.