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Value Adding Livelihoods in Umerkot!

After the tremendous success in providing rural women their own lands in the Sindh Govt Land Distribution Program, PDI and Oxfam have taken to providing those women with techniques to add value to their product and earn increased profit! Participatory Development Initiatives (PDI) have been working in Umerkot District of Sindh with more then 300 women to launch Farmer Organizations and Producer Organizations which are legally registered and facilitated by PDI and Oxfam to run small scale businesses!

This August the PDI team in Umerkot conducted a technical training for Farmers Organization (FOs) with support of Oxfam GB on Cotton Picking which was held at PDI Office Umerkot. Ghulam Qadir Khaskehli, Agriculture export and Miss Perveen Akhter Social Organizer of PDI and 30 office bearer from Farmer Organizations participated in the Training workshop . The purpose of technical training is to enhance capacity building of small farmers’ organizations and its members that they can use modern practices in crop cultivation and adopt market orientated approach so that they can earn descent amount of money from their cultivated crops and move towards sustainable development.

The PDI Umerkot team has formed many small farmers™ organizations and imparted trainings to their members and farmers organizations. After advocacy meetings with support of PDI setup, Grain Storage Bank has been set up in their respective villages at proper place so that they can store their seeds for crops. The PDI with support of Oxfam conducted base line survey and market analyze using PRA tools and pointed out the issues which are being facing by farmers for not getting due prices and profit of selling their crops commodities in the market.

The NGO shared their market research findings with farmers’ organizations. The PDI conducted a technical training of small farmers in which 26 farmers’ organizations members mostly small farmers participated in Technical Workshop. The PDI trainer Miss Perveen Akhter in the technical training session informed about methods of cotton picking and its storage and sell out cotton crop directly rather depending on middle man. The PDI trainer Ghulam Qadir informed farmers that the more market rates would depend on maintaining its quality and high standard. In Umerkot district mostly framers have done cotton picking by manual methods.

The PDI trainer told participants of farmers the variety wise picking should be done and picked seed cotton should be labeled and kept variety wise separate. He pointed out that it has been observed that female folk doing job of picking have not too much sequence and unable to maintain cleanness and quality of cotton therefore, lint quantity is severely affected. Thus they cannot get higher prices of their cotton crops. He informed them for safe and sounds picking female folk are required to collect seed cotton by using muslin cloth and synthetic fiber made material should be avoided. Besides impurities such as dust and trash mixing the seed cotton should be avoided. Furthermore, the picking should be done from lower side towards top. and you can follow the progress on our blog :