The U.S. Agency for International Development’s (USAID) continue to aid Pakistan by educating and enriching 24000 small business owners in the field of medicinal plants and honey industry. The Medicinal and Aromatic Plants and Honey Industry conference which was held on February 3rd, 2014 took place with the aim of developing the medicinal plant and honey sector in Pakistan.
This conference also proved to provide a podium for plant collectors and beekeepers that could interact with successful agribusiness entrepreneurs with the aim of increasing their already low incomes. During the conference, USAID’s Mission Director, Gregory Gottlieb greeted such initiatives taken by the U.S. Agency in order to help the backward areas of Pakistan, especially in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa through cooperation between the 2 countries. Mr. Gregory said: “The U.S. Government is committed to working in partnership with the people and government of Pakistan to revitalize economic activity in the conflict and flood-affected communities of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa. We support Pakistan’s efforts to develop competitive products and forge lasting linkages with international markets to accelerate sales, investment, and job growth, particularly in the agriculture sector. This U.S.-Pakistan cooperation is helping Pakistan build economic prosperity for its people.”
Important personalities present at this conference were representatives from the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa provincial government, including the Ministry of Forestry and the Provincial Reconstruction, Rehabilitation and Settlement Authority (PaRRSA) along with experts, traders, and sales agents dealing in medicinal plants and honey.
Director General of the Provincial Disaster Management Authority for Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Mr. Muhammad Tahir Orakzai applauded the initiatives taken by the U.S. which posted positive effects on the economic conditions of some of Pakistan’s poorest communities. Mr. Tahir added: “This conference is a part of a broader agenda that the U.S. Government and the Government of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa are pursuing together to bring sustainable economic change to the region.”
This initiative is just one part of a comprehensive U.S. economic growth assistance program for Pakistan which includes expanding irrigation by 200,000 acres to spur farming near Gomal Zam and Satpara dams, and increasing the incomes of 250,000 farmers and female agricultural workers through training and increased access to market networks, allowing them to earn more money for the crops they grow.