Pakistan Microfinance Investment Company (PMIC) and Sona Welfare Foundation (SWF), the corporate social responsibility wing of Fauji Fertilizer Company (FFC), have signed off an MOU of PKR 260 million to implement an Agriculture Value Chain for 5,000 smallholder rice farmers, in districts Nankana Sahib, Sheikhupura and Gujranwala. The agreement was signed by Mr. YasirAshfaq Chief Executive Officer PMIC and Brigadier (Retd.) Arshad Mahmood SI(M) Chief Operating Officer SWF.
The value chain will include microfinance, profiling of farmers, awareness sessions and crop productivity enhancement trainings. The project will also establish linkages of the farmers with public and private entities for provision of agricultural inputs and uptake of resultant yield. Short Message Services (SMS) would also be initiated to keep farmers informed about weather updates and best agricultural practices. This is an extension of the earlier partnership between the two entities wherein they successfully implemented an agriculture value chain for 1,000 cotton farmers in district Bahawalpur which resulted in increase in farmer income. A significant portion of the project will be allocated for microcredit to small holder farmers by PMIC through its Microfinance Institutions.
Speaking on the occasion, CEO PMIC Mr. Yasir Ashfaq said, “PMIC values its partnership with Sona Welfare Foundation (SWF) and as the microfinance apex institution, we aim to foster linkages with private sector entities to implement initiatives for the underserved communities in the country. PMIC and SWF share the aim to bring improvement in the lives of the underserved communities and in the coming years we aim to extend our partnership with SWF to reach out to 100,000 subsistence farmers in the country.”
Brigadier (Retd.) Arshad Mahmood SI(M) Chief Operating Officer SWF commented “Our partnership with PMIC is significant towards improving the lives of the smallholder farmers in various areas of the country. Entering the second phase of our strategic alliance with PMIC, we feel our collaboration is important towards investments in agriculture to enhance the yields of smallholder farmers.
On this occasion, PMIC and SWF vowed to continue collaborative efforts to benefit subsistence farmers through microfinance and microfinance plus initiatives in Pakistan.