PAVE Pakistan seeks to increase participation of men and women smallholder farmers in the seed value chain and enhance livelihoods, skills, expertise, seed mindedness, crop yields, farming practices and empowerment. The project targets more than 200 villages in Districts of Sheikhupura/Gujranwala in Punjab and integrate 4,000 small-holder farmers into the seed value chain out of which 400 will be women farmers.
This initiative addresses the agricultural seed business for rice, wheat and vegetables. The total industry size for seeding Pakistan is about Rs. 124 billion or AUD $1.5 billion (informal industry Rs. 70 billion and formal industry Rs. 54 billion). The social challenge is that small-holder farmers including women farmers are excluded from this value chain. More than 500 private sector seed companies and large public sector seed corporations are the exclusive seed producers in the country who have developed about 15,000-20,000 seed minded farmers in Punjab. These large-scale, commercial farmers dominate the market excluding smallholders completely from any benefits. This presents a great opportunity for commercial seed players to build partnerships with smallholders as customers and producers of quality seed while at the same time making access to modern farming and seed production techniques easier for smallholders.