Pakistan Agricultural Technology Transfer Activity
Because improved technologies that are affordable, impactful and safe have not yet penetrated the vast smallholder market in Pakistan, smallholders continue to use outdated and less effective technologies, leading to stagnant or dwindling productivity and returns. This is particularly the case in the horticulture and livestock sub-sectors.
To combat these challenges, the $8.2 million Pakistan Agricultural Technology Transfer Activity (PATTA) funded through USAID has been working since April 2017 to increase smallholder farmers’ access to markets and their overall development impact and cost-effectiveness. By building on CNFA’s 10-year history of successful implementation in Pakistan, PATTA is galvanizing ongoing private-sector investment to commercialize the types of agricultural technologies that enable smallholders to increase their incomes, create jobs and enhance economic growth and stability. These technologies include seeds, fertilizers, water pumps, improved plant and animal breeds, precision agriculture and integrated soil fertility management, among others.
By the completion of project activities in December 2021, PATTA will have created new, strong and sustainable private-sector relationships that meet the evolving needs of smallholder farmers and drive increased productivity and economic growth across Pakistan.
CNFA is collaborating with and building upon previous investments by USAID and similar development programs to improve the lives of smallholder farmers through the following three-pillared approach:
- Enable agricultural technology-related businesses to expand, adapt and market their products and services to meet smallholder farmers’ needs: PATTA undertakes initial and ongoing market and cost-benefit analyses of available agricultural technologies, and facilitates outreach to key stakeholders based on the findings of these analyses. The Activity also oversees a competitive process that leads to detailed memorandums of understanding and comprehensive technical support and capacity building. In doing so, PATTA makes the business case for sustained private-sector investments in technology transfer, adaptations, outreach and marketing such that profitable, inclusive output marketing opportunities for smallholders over the long term can be identified.
- Increase smallholder farmers’ access to affordable, appropriate, and effective agricultural technologies: Sustaining increased access to improved technologies that are adapted to smallholder needs requires focused, strategic efforts by demand-side stakeholders who stand to profit from this outcome. These stakeholders include technology retailers like agrodealers and arthis—Pakistani agricultural agents who act as middlemen buying and selling inputs on commission and often making loans to smallholders—as well as microfinance institutions and banks that profit when they provide more loans and financial services to expanding agribusinesses and farmers’ associations. PATTA’s holistic approach of capacity building and technical support complements the new marketing and outreach plans of technology companies to inspire sustained investments in the vast smallholder market.
- Scale the adoption and use of agricultural technologies: PATTA is supporting the collective work of supply- and demand-side partners to launch and sustain demonstration activities that provide evidence of the value of improved technologies. These include the promotion of activities with a proven record of success, such as field days, demonstration plots and peer-to-peer education by champion farmers. Such demonstration activities leverage various mediums, including radio broadcasts, video and mobile exhibits that reach women in purdah and other underserved groups.