Installation of cold storage in Balochistan – Newspaper

QUETTA: The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) on Tuesday signed a grant agreement for the establishment of a cold store in Balochistan.

FAO Representative in Pakistan Florence Rolle, Baluchistan Agriculture Secretary Umaid Ali Khokar, Provincial FAO International Program Coordinator Waleed Mahdi, Project Coordinator as well as government officials from the Department of Agriculture and other FAO staff in Balochistan attended the signing ceremony of the agreement.

The project, “The Horticulture Advancement Activity” or THAzA, was funded by the United States Agency for International Department (USAID). It will support the establishment of a cold storage facility with a capacity of 300 tonnes to help farmers in Baluchistan extend the shelf life and marketability of their produce, ultimately resulting in increased income profitable and will protect farmers from financial losses during market price fluctuations.

The facility will increase farmers’ incomes by strengthening the links between horticultural producers in Balochistan and markets across the country.

FAO signs grant agreement

The project, implemented in Balochistan and the newly merged districts of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, is designed to improve the comprehensiveness of potential horticulture value chains in target regions and markets.

In her opening remarks, Ms Rolle said FAO was working with farmers and small-scale producers to bring agriculture to the benefit of the most vulnerable communities through this project. “We need to show people, especially young people, that agriculture is an income-generating activity worth investing in. We need to open job creation opportunities for young people through supply chains. competitive agricultural and food processing value,” she said. .

Agriculture Secretary Umaid Ali Khokar said cold storage facilities were crucial to minimizing post-harvest losses, however, it is an element that needs to be integrated into a cold chain network from the point of harvest at the point of purchase by the final consumer.

FAO’s International Program Coordinator in Balochistan, Waleed Mahdi, expressed hope that the first-ever high-level grant in Balochistan would solve the problems that farmers and traders had previously faced.

He said farmers in Balochistan would now be able to reap the benefits of cold storage and would be able to store their produce for a long time and avoid the peak season glut in the markets and the resulting low prices for the producers.

Mr. Mahdi said the THAzA project was supported by in-kind matching grants aimed at overcoming key barriers to trade in fresh horticultural produce.

He said it was good to see that FAO’s technical support to small-scale producers and government institutions had already helped increase production capacity for fresh fruits and vegetables and boosted access to high-quality support services. quality.

Posted in Dawn, April 20, 2022

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