An MoU has been signed between Pakistan Microfinance Investment Company (PMIC) and Sona Welfare Foundation (SWF), the corporate social responsibility wing of Fauji Fertilizer Company (FFC), for deployment of an Agriculture Value Chain, targeting 1,000 smallholder farmers, in district Bahawalpur. NRSP-MFB, the third signatory to this MOU, is the implementing partner for end-to-end deployment of the project which would include profiling of farmers, awareness sessions and crop productivity enhancement trainings, establishment of linkages with public and private entities for provision of agricultural inputs and uptake of resultant yield. Short Message Services (SMS) would also be initiated to keep farmers informed about weather updates and best agricultural practices. Further, cotton picking trainings would also be provided to 1,000 women farmers to appraise them about effective ways of cotton picking and avoiding possible vulnerability to breathing problems, hand injuries and skin infections.
In addition, microfinance loans, accounting for agricultural input costs, will be provided to the respective farmers by NRSP-MFB, while SWF would provide funds for the provision of above mentioned trainings through FFC’s agriculture extension services department. The three institutions vowed to continue collaborative efforts in future benefitting subsistence farmers through microfinance and microfinance plus initiatives in Pakistan.