Lahore (Muhammad Yasir) Bank Alfalah, a leading commercial Bank in Pakistan and SAWiE, a digital platform offering smart farm advisory services to smallholder farmers, signed an MoU to promote climate-smart agriculture practices within Pakistan. Under this MoU, SAWiE will leverage its systems to combine geospatial data with machine learning and AI applications to provide sustainable solutions to farmers.
According to the MoU, the two organisations will offer climate farm advisory services for farmers, linking them with external markets and supporting green banking to achieve net zero and access to finance.
This initiative aims to empower farmers by increasing their capacity and competitiveness through various activities, including developing a concept of climate-smart villages, promoting climate-smart agriculture technologies, and developing innovative approaches to serving farmers through regular advisory services and training.
Moreover, Bank Alfalah and SAWiE will encourage soil testing of the bank’s existing and new farmers to develop soil health solutions, which will help save water, improve plant health, and protect the natural environment. By promoting ESG principles, the initiative will also support sustainable agriculture practices, which can help ensure the long-term viability of the sector.
This is a crucial step towards supporting sustainable agriculture practices in Pakistan. By offering climate farm advisory services, linking farmers with external markets, and promoting green banking, this initiative aims to empower farmers and increase their capacity and competitiveness while promoting ESG principles and climate-smart agriculture practices.
According to the Pakistan Economic Survey, agriculture contributes 22.7% to the GDP and employs around 37.4 percent of the labour force. However, the agricultural sector in Pakistan is facing several challenges, including climate change, which adversely affects the country’s farming, Agri-food systems, and supply chains.
According to a report by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), Pakistan is one country that is most vulnerable to climate change, with increasing temperatures, water scarcity, and extreme weather events affecting agricultural production. The report states that climate-smart agriculture practices can help mitigate the risks of climate change and improve agricultural productivity and sustainability.
The signing ceremony took place in Lahore in the presence of senior officials from SAWiE and Bank Alfalah, including Engr. Mushtaq A. Gill (Tamgha-e-Imtiaz), CEO of SAWiE, Dr Khalid Mahmood, representative of SAWiE. Meanwhile, from Bank Alfalah, Shaykh Zeeshan Rauf, Head of Small Medium Enterprise(SME) and Commercial Banking Division, Raza ul Aleem, Head SME and Agri, Bank Alfalah and Yahya Hameed Wahla, Agri-Business Head graced the occasion.