In Pakistan, 75 per cent of seed is uncertiﬁed and sold through informal channels. Most of this uncertified seed does not meet minimum quality standards, resulting in poor yields. Furthermore, most seed in Pakistan is produced by large-scale, commercial farmers. This initiative will instead work with smallholder farmers, introducing them to seed growing techniques and helping them to become part of the seed supply chain (for rice, wheat and vegetable seed). The partnership will bring together Engro Corporation and MEDA, which have worked together previously on large-scale dairy development initiatives.
This initiative promotes gender equality by:
- Promoting women’s economic empowerment through alternative livelihoods – as farmers using better seeds, as seed multipliers and as registered seed suppliers.
- Enhancing women’s voices in decision making and community leadership through introduction of Women’s Seed Multiplication groups.
While women work in smallholder farms, they are not in public leadership roles and are not seen as seed producers. The partnership aims to ensure 10 per cent of farmers participating at each level are women - from the initial farmer training through to registration as seed suppliers. The partnership uses Women’s Seed Multiplication Groups (WSMG) and trains women master trainers to enable women to access new skills and information in culturally appropriate settings.
This partnership creates shared value by redefining productivity in the value chain.
By working with smallholder farmers, Engro will be able to broaden its seed supplier base and the volume of seed available for sale. These farmers benefit primarily through increased income from producing and selling certified seed, which can be sold at a higher price than regular crops. Farmers also benefit by learning new farming practices and marketing techniques.
MEDA will ensure female farmers are brought into this supply chain. Rural labourers benefit from higher wages that come from supporting seed farming.
- Target villages in the Districts of Sheikhupura/Gujranwala in Punjab to increase participation of male and female smallholder farmers in the seed value chain.
- Improve skills and expertise to improve smallholder farmers’ crop yields and income.
- Convert 4,000 smallholder farmers to use certified seeds to improve crop yield and quality, with a target of 400 female farmers.
- Convert 300 smallholder farmers into registered seed suppliers for Engro’s seed business.
- Train approximately 60 smallholder farmers to produce their own quality seed.
Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT)
DFAT's expertise in development contributes to building stronger, more inclusive private sector growth in the Asia-Pacific region. DFAT does this through sharing its knowledge of business, political and regulatory environments, access to professional networks and catalytic funding. The BPP (Busines Partnerships Platform) is designed as an entry point for new partners, Australian and overseas entities, to work with DFAT to deliver social impact and commercial returns in the region. The BPP actively promotes initiatives that drive women's economic empowerment.
Engro Corporation is a diverse company with operations in fertiliser, dairy, energy and chemicals. It also has a fast growing seed business. In 2009 it established the Engro Foundation, a social investment arm. Business inclusiveness is at the heart of Engro’s social impact strategy as the company looks to integrate the underprivileged, youth and women into its value chains. Engro will lead this initiative, including all technical and commercial activities, including working with farmers.