Thirty-seven percent of Pakistan’s population is already vulnerable to food insecurity. This figure will soon exacerbate given the effect of recent external challenges including the rapid spread of Covid-19 and its subsequent Government restrictions, and Pakistan’s largest locust infestation in 25 years devasting large areas of agricultural land, including cotton, wheat, maize, and other crops. Adding to this turmoil is recent extreme weather events which have demonstrated that Pakistan’s food security and agriculture are critically exposed to the adverse impacts of climate change. In this project, CABI will support the Ministry of National Food Security and Research (MNFSR) and four provincial agriculture departments in adopting technologies and advanced practices to manage these impacts, disseminating technologies and practices to stakeholders and recommending measures for building long-term resilience and sustainable food security.
Potato is an important crop in Pakistan for both consumers and producers. It is nutritious, produces high returns and there is a potential to increase yields by using good potato cultivation practices. However, a lack of knowledge concerning these is inhibiting many smallholder farmers in their effort to raise productivity. Furthermore, unsuitable management of threats, such as pests and diseases, increases losses. In this project, CABI aims to mitigate challenges faced in the smallholder potato sector by building the capacity of small-scale potato growers, and in particular women, in good agricultural practices, including the sustainable and safe use of pesticides, in the Punjab province of Pakistan.