Thursday, October 20 2016: Speaking to the Engro Fertilizer team today, Federal Minister for National Food Security and Research – Sikandar Hayat Khan Bosan – lauded Engro’s RAHBAR program hailing it as a unique initiative introduced to address and find solutions that would, in the near future, improve Pakistan’s food security as well as drive sustainable economic growth within the country.
Sikandar Hayat Khan Bosan appreciated the efforts being put in by Engro to help farmers at the grass root level to overcome challenges faced by them in terms of outdated farming methods, lack of knowledge and technology. These farmers are not only a vital element of poverty alleviation and global food security, but they also have the potential to boost local economies and communities.
According to the International Water Management Institute, Pakistan’s 2.1 million hectares of irrigated rice area will face physical water scarcity by 2025, and in order to sustain such pressures to keep outputs and livelihoods intact, the farming community needs efforts like RAHBAR to educate them on conservation agriculture, in addition to best practices for higher yields, less wastage, and consequently greater profits.
Rahbar is an initiative by Engro Fertilizer & Engro Foundation, actively focusing on inspiring our farmers towards better farming methods leading to improved prosperity. The program is not only about educating farmers on best crop management practices and conservation-agriculture, it is also about exposing them to innovation and use of technology in modern agriculture. The project was rolled out in September 2015 in Sheikhupura, and has already successfully impacted 5000 farmers in the area with an impressive record of 26% yield improvement in Rahbar supervised plots vs conventional farms. In the near future, it is estimated that 500,000 farmers in 12 districts in Sind and Punjab would benefit from the Rahbar Program.
The Minister while applauding the initiative, said that Engro’s commitment to leverage modern technology to bring crop yield productivity at par with global standards is commendable, and he hoped that other companies in the private sector would also follow to help boost our agricultural sector.