ISLAMABAD - Findings of the US government-sponsored programme Pakistan Strategy Support Programme (PSSP) were featured in a two-day conference that commenced here on Tuesday.  The PSSP programme, supported by the United States Government through the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), serves to promote economic growth and development in Pakistan.

“The United States is supporting vibrant and sustained research and development efforts in Pakistan. The U.S. and Pakistan joint efforts in the field of agriculture and economic growth will contribute to a stronger, brighter future for Pakistan,” said USAID’s Mission Director Gregory Gottlieb during his address at the event. “We look forward to our continued partnership with the Planning Commission and the Government of Pakistan as they chart this path to prosperity,” he added. 

The United States strongly supports Pakistani researchers and the Government of Pakistan to make evidence-based policy reforms that address rural poverty.  Professor Ahsan Iqbal, Federal Minister for Planning, Development and Reforms and Deputy Chairman of the Planning Commission, said that Pakistan must embrace a research-based policy to transform agriculture, enhance the rural economy, and ensure food and water security. “We need to improve research-based policy analysis, build capacity, and create networks of select government and non-governmental researchers and policy analysts, and then share results among diverse stakeholders,” he added.

The PSSP is one of many joint Pakistan and the United States initiatives to reduce poverty and increase workers’ incomes.  Other examples in Pakistan’s agricultural sector include expanding irrigation by 200,000 acres to spur farming near the 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 for the crops they grow.