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FAO inaugurates market, livestock sheds in South Waziristan

PESHAWAR: The Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) on Monday inaugurated fruits, vegetable and livestock market infrastructures in South Waziristan under the patronage of United States Agency for International Development (USAID).

The initiative is aimed at the restoration and establishment of new market infrastructure and enterprise development services under which 13 cluster-based packing sheds, five fruit and vegetable auction sheds, and three livestock markets will be established.

The project has successfully completed five market structures including one livestock market, two fruit and vegetable packing sheds, and a couple of fruit and vegetable auction sheds in North and South Waziristan.

The vegetable and fruit market will not only support value chain development and improved agriculture practices in the merged districts for year-round production but will also provide a viable environment for fruits, vegetables, and livestock management creating market linkages for farmers amidst COVID-19.

FAO Representative in Pakistan Mina Dowlatchahi said during the challenging times of COVID-19, the . FAO has continued its support to all the food actors, improve their livelihoods and economic situation, improve the supply chain, and contribute to the economic development of the region.

She said that introducing innovation in the local agriculture systems, together with capacity development of farmers centers and field school approach has strengthened the agriculture supply chain.

FAO has also supported 42,763 households under restoring subsistence and commercial agriculture in tribal districts project in merged districts of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, she added.

The project aims to significantly contribute to reduction in poverty and economic inequalities through the resumption of food production and restoration and improvement of agriculture-based livelihoods despite COVID-19 pandemic.

Additional Deputy Commissioner of District South Waziristan, local district administration, FAO officials and local farmers, and traders community were also present on the occasion.

In a video message on the social media, US Consul General in Peshawar Gregory Macris,  International Coordinator FAO Waleed Mahdi also appreciated the strong partnership between the Government of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, FAO, USAID and local community.

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