Australia to provide AUD1.2m for Pakistan’s rural uplift

ISLAMABAD: The Economic Affairs Division and the Australian Center for International Agriculture Research (ACIAR) signed on Monday a Memorandum of Subsidiary Agreement (MoSA) for expediting the rural transformation in the country.

The agreement is part of ‘understanding the drivers of successful and inclusive rural regional transformation and sharing experiences and policy advice in Bangladesh, China, Indonesia and Pakistan.’

Economic Affairs Division acting Secretary Ahmad Hanif Orakzai and ACIAR Chief Executive Officer Prof Andrew Campbell signed the agreement on behalf of their respective organisations.

Under the agreement, Australia will provide AUD1.2 million for a programme to be completed in three years till 2022.

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The objective of the programme is to understand the nature, divers and consequences of rural transformation in Bangladesh, China, Indonesia and Pakistan as rapid urbanization is exerting pressure on land, labour and other resources for higher productivity.

Rural transformation is the process by which an agricultural system transforms over time from being subsistence to commercialized and market-oriented farming.

Many countries have reached different stages of rural transformation with varying speeds and outcomes of rural transformation.

Shares of the population in rural areas remain high in China (43pc) and Indonesia (46pc) and even higher in Pakistan (61pc) and Bangladesh (65pc), while an average share for developing countries globally is 58pc.

The project will examine the Chinese model of rural transformation and try to understand the nature of its success and lesions for countries with similar challenges.

The EAD secretary thanked the Australian government for extending its continuous support to the Pakistani government in its efforts for the development of agricultural sector.

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