Islamabad, 25 June 2022 (TDI): A Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) was signed between the Small and Medium Enterprise Development Authority (SMEDA) and International Trade Centre (ITC).

This MOU was signed at the Ministry of Industries & Production to reduce poverty by strengthening small-scale agribusiness in Pakistan.

The European Union-funded project Growth of Rural Advancement and Sustainable Progress (GRAPS) will be implemented in Balochistan and Sindh.

Minister for Industries and Production, Syed Murtaza Mehmud said the GRASP project helps in livestock, dairy, and horticulture sectors.

Further, he said, to expand the Programme to the other areas of South Punjab, along with Khyber Pakhtunkhwa as well as the former FATA region.

European Union-funded GRASP project

Moreover, the GRASP project is likely to complete in six years with 1.8 million dollars and ensure the business environment for small farmers.

Besides this, it provides grants and technical assistance to improve the value chain, yield, quality, and access to market information. Further, it increases improvement in standards.

Additionally, GRASP is designed to reduce poverty in Pakistan by strengthening small-scale agribusinesses in Sindh and Balochistan.

Furthermore, this project was funded by a delegation of the European Union to Pakistan. Its budget is about €48,000,000 (Rs. 308 million).

In addition, the Small and Medium Enterprises Development Authority (SMEDA) and ITC will arrange joint activities to facilitate SMEs in Sindh and Balochistan in the areas of horticulture and livestock.

The activities will facilitate rural businesses, contributing to the development of SME competitiveness, and sustainability strategies.

The project is governed by three steering committees: one at the national level led by the government, and two at the provincial level are led by the governments of Balochistan and Sindh.

Minister Syed Murtaza Mehmud said this project will give access to medium, small, and micro rural enterprises through relevant market actors in the ecosystem.

Further, it will contribute to the betterment of the business environment surrounding SMEs in the two provinces of the country.