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Overburdened agricultural sector
A recent UNDP report stated that the population of Pakistan is growing at 2% every year and agriculture is playing a crucial role in order to bear such an enormous population. More than half of the population of Pakistan i.e. 65% lives in rural areas and over 46% of the entire employment is delivered by the agriculture sector. This places an immense burden on the agricultural sector to deliver. However, opportunities for farmers are limited in terms of raising enough finance.
Nestlé Pakistan has recently partnered with the National Bank of Pakistan for the Prime Minister’s Youth Business Loan (PMYBL) Scheme. The MoU was signed by the NBP President Syed Ahmed Iqbal Ashraf and the Managing Director of Nestlé Pakistan Mr. Magdi Batato.
The SEVP & Group Chief CRBG National Bank of Pakistan, Mr. Mudassir Khan said that National Bank of Pakistan is committed to continue financial services delivery to the food and agriculture sector. Right now the sector is struggling in an operating environment due to little or no access to institutional credit, he said, adding that people associated with agriculture have to rely on unorganized channels for their credit requirements.
Opportunity for young farmers
This collaboration will assist the PMYBL scheme for generating opportunities of self-employment to vendors of Nestlé Pakistan who have good credit history and sound credibility. The focus in the first phase of the project will be on young dairy farmers between the ages of 21 and 45 who can apply for a loan from NBP to develop new or grow existing businesses.
Nestlé Pakistan will assist the dairy farmers by providing them training to maximise output, assure quality and optimize productivity in accordance with the highest standards. The company hopes to expand the facility to other vendors in the future.
"Nestlé believes in the potential of the youth," said Waqar Ahmad, Nestlé Pakistan’s Head of Corporate Affairs, adding, "Prime Minister’s Youth Loan Programme will provide low-cost financing to the talented youth so that their potential can be realized and they can play their role in the development of the country." He said that company had Rural Development programmes as part of its philosophy of Creating Shared Value through which farmers and livestock workers are trained to help them increase milk production, income and to ensure a better life. Nestlé Pakistan also introduced an Executive Certificate in the Agri-business Management in collaboration with LUMS," he added.
With the support of Nestlé, the young farmers will contribute to the development of the agricultural sector in a favorable way. The training provided would be utilized by the farmers to further train workers, creating a sustainable platform for them to learn and a promising plan to help them earn a livelihood.
Read the full Press Release on the Nestlé Pakistan website