Sustainability in livelihoods is a key to food security and poverty reduction. Agriculture is an essential livelihood in Pakistan and a primary source of food security. However, agricultural production is declining rapidly in the country, threatening the local communities’ food security. The key reasons are the lack of skills among our growers to adopt scientific and sustainable farming methods. Given the rise in land degradation, severe water shortages increased pest attacks, and other challenges, the growers still use the centuries-old traditional farming methods. They cannot meet these challenges with new, improved scientific farming methods. Besides, reduced access to the enhanced agriculture inputs and monopoly of the middlemen and traders on agriculture marketing has left the farming communities with little and, in most cases, no margin of income in agriculture livelihoods. This, on the one hand, has increased poverty levels, while on the other hand, food insecurity has risen to more significant proportions in many regions in Pakistan.
Participatory Development Initiatives ( PDI) is engaged in the promotion of sustainable livelihoods, including sustainable agriculture and agriculture value chain development through the mobilization and organization of farmers, developing their farmers’ organizations as well as their Producer Organizations, building the farming skills and capacities of the farmers including men and women farmers through field-based training, demonstration plots, exposure visits, and developing linkages between the farmers and experts and government extension services, etc. PDI is also engaged in strengthening Producer Organizations (Cooperative Societies) of the farmers, building their capacities and skill, and facilitating business planning of the producer organization to develop their collective marketing skills and linkages with the market actors/ private sector engaged in the value chain. PDI has also developed its agriculture value chain model, implemented in different program areas.