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USA promotes legal crop production in the newly merged districts

ISLAMABAD: US diplomatic mission here, UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), and the KP Govt. celebrated the successful completion of a $984,000 project on Thursday 5th of August, 2021.

According to details the project upon completion has provided more than 4,000 farmers’ households with alternatives to illicit crop production in the Bajaur, Khyber, Torghar, and Mohmand districts.  Director of the Embassy’s International Narcotics and Law Enforcement (INL) section Mark Tervakoski, FAO representative Rebekah Bell, KP Agriculture Minister Mohib Ullah Khan, and Director General of the Agriculture Extension Department Abid Kamal participated in the ceremony.

Under this INL-funded project, FAO provided alternative livelihoods to farmers formerly engaged in or vulnerable to illicit crop cultivation.   More than 4,000 farmers, including 1200 women, received wheat, onion, corn, tomato, cucumber, and sunflower seeds; olive plants; trainings; and agriculture machinery and tools – including shovels, spray pumps, tractors, and leveling and harvesting machines– to grow high-value licit crops.

Rebekah Bell, FAO’s Representative for Pakistan, highlighted the cooperation under this project and said, “FAO’s partnership with INL and the Government of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa has been excellent in the promotion of high value crops to create stable sources of livelihoods for the vulnerable communities in the newly merged districts.”

INL Director Mark Tervakoski also reflected on the impact of the partnership between the U.S. government, FAO, and the KP government: “This project ensured farmers, vulnerable to poppy cultivation, have alternate, more lucrative, legal crop cultivation opportunities to pursue that promote a more secure and prosperous Pakistan and region.”

It is pertinent to mention here that for more than 30 years, the United States and Pakistan have worked together to reduce the supply of poppy and other illicit drugs by increasing access to alternative livelihoods opportunities for the most vulnerable farmers of KP province.  INL works in more than 90 countries to help combat crime and corruption, counter the narcotics trade, improve police institutions, and promote court systems that are fair and accountable. | YouTube Channel

M M Alam

M. M. Alam is a Pakistan-based working journalist since 1981. Karachi University faculty gold medalist Alam began his career four decades ago by writing for Dawn, Pakistan’s highest circulating English daily. He has worked for region’s leading publications, global aviation periodicals including Rotors (of USA) and vetted New York Times as permanent employee of daily Express Tribune. Alam regularly covers international aviation and defense-related events including Salon Du Bourget (France), Farnborough (United Kingdom), Dubai (UAE). Alam has reported thousands of events and interviewed hundreds of people in Pakistan, UAE, EU, UK and USA. Being Francophone Alam also coordinates with a number of French publications.