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Onion Production in Talash

Livelihoods Programme Hindukush-IC with continued efforts of all our team members, we finally succeeded to bring MKS- an international onion seed/bulb producing company and progressive onion growers of Talash valley together to make an agreement for the production of basic onion bulbs.

Based on the achieved results of onion trails conducted by MKS in LPH target areas of Talash valley last year, the Company has signed contracts with four progressive farmers to produce basic onion bulbs on 5.5 acres of land.

Terms and conditions of the company suit the farmers, therefore, we hope that the basic onion bulb production area of Talash valley will further expand in the coming years and hopefully, commitment of the company will also be continued after the project life.

Besides having good potential of onion production as compared to the Punjab, the basic Onion Bulb Production Model of Talash valley also suits to MKS. In this way the company can get one month late produce of onion crop whereby the storage period of onion bulbs and transportation cost will be reduced and the basic bulbs for certified seed production would be available to the growers in Chitral in time.

 

The cost benefit analysis data of the last three years of 15 onion farmers revealed that the MKS is paying on the average a profit of Rs.732/- per 100kg bag which includes Rs.348.66 per bag as cost of the inputs like, onion seeds, gunny bags and facility of picking the harvest from their respective farms. Moreover, the provision of quality fertilizers, pesticides though on payment and in time technical guidance and supervision will also definitely make a difference in their yields.

Team Leader Water for Livelihoods Project (W4L) AGUASAN workshop “DRR in WASH” in Switzerland

Munawar Khan Khattak participated in workshop “DRR in WASH”” organized by AUGASAN from 22nd to 27th June 2015, an interdisciplinary Swiss organization bringing together a wide range of specialists/ experts to promote wider and deeper understanding of key issues in the water sector in developing countries. The overall objectives of the workshop were the Learning and sharing of experiences of the successful and failing approaches that integrating DRR principles and measures into WASH services delivery and preparedness to natural disasters.  Both the workshops WOCAT & AGUASAN, and some other activities that we have visited during the time are useful and will stay in good memory.

Team Leader Water for Livelihoods Project (W4L) Participation in WOCAT workshop in Munich

The World Overview of Conservation Approaches & Technology (WOCAT) workshop was jointly organized by GIZ and the WOCAT Secretariat, Center for Development and Environment, University of Bern, Switzerland from 8th to 12th June 2015. In the workshop, Munawar Khan Khattak met with the specialist, researchers and experts of Sustainable Land Management (SLM) from the different countries where WOCAT work. They shared their experiences in SLM spreading over two decades. The WOCAT event was open with the symposium which called for the contribution from experts in SLM.

Climate Change Center inaugurated at University of Agriculture Peshawar

Pakistan is classified among the top 10 countries of the world that will be worst affected by climate change. Recognizing the need for an institution that could take the challenge of imparting education and conduct research on climate change adaption (CCA) issues benefiting the farming community, Helvetas Intercooperation (IC) Pakistan and the University of Agriculture Peshawar (UAP) had agreed in 2014 to establish the Climate Change Centre (CCC) at the UAP.  IC provided vital financial and technical support to the CCC for its establishment through SDC funded projects and other sources. In a short period to time the CCC has made meaningful progress and has launched a number of research projects. These include research trials on wheat and maize to check impact of changing temperature and rainfall on growth of various varieties on these crops. The Climate Change Center was formally inaugurated by Country Director SDC Ms. Stephanie Burri here on Monday in a graceful gathering at UAP. On this occasion the Vice Chancellor of the UAP Prof. Dr. Zahoor Ahmad Swati said that agriculture is highly sensitive to the effects of climate change. These changes are affecting crops, farming systems as well as farmers’ livelihoods. The Farmers need proper advice based on sound research on how to deal with the impact of climate change crops. On this occasion Dr. Arjumand Nizami Country Director IC and Dr. Jawad Ali Director of the CCC also stressed for the need of documenting farmer’s knowledge on climate change and the need for enhanced coordination between the public and private sector to address challenges posed by climate change in the farming sector and to the livelihoods of the farming community.

 

 

Restoring Dignities of the Poor Women Artisans - Making the market work for Poor in DI Khan

Dera Ismail Khan (DI Khan), one the main districts contributing to the rich cultural heritage of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP) province in Pakistan has its own traditional specialties and is especially famous for embroideries exquisitely hand crafted with variety of styles and designs by the rural artisans (women and men). However the dilemma is that like many other traditional crafts the potential of this craftsmanship has never been explored fully by the artisans for engaging public and private market actors to make markets work for poor.  Artisans not realizing the potential are exposed to market exploitations and are living below the poverty line.

HELVETAS (registered as Intercooperation in Pakistan) in Pakistan in its endeavors to alleviate poverty in rural areas through innovative pro poor approaches and committed partnership launched Livelihoods Programme Hindukush (LPH) Project in 2008 with the funding assistance of Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC) in the selected districts of KP and Federally Administered Tribal Area (FATA) in Pakistan

Sensing the potential in DI Khan, LPH selected embroidery sub sector with the vision to empower women artisans in the far flung areas of the district and help the poor producers in improving their livelihoods. Looking at the context and problems associated with this specific value chain, the project focused on filling the gaps between producers and shopkeepers through middle person who approaches the shop keepers and takes orders for the women artisans as women due to cultural parameters feel difficulty in engaging directly. This not only complements to the small businesses of the women artisans in their respective villages and shopkeepers but also creates an income generation opportunity for the middle person. 

Rather than project oriented approach the project is working on market system development approach where all stakeholders are involved in the overall development of the value chain/sub sector. The involvement of the relevant market players specially the private sector in the process is imperative and has long lasting impact on the overall performance of the value chain. LPH is providing a facilitation role in linking up the embroidery workers with the public and private sector including middle persons/ individual entrepreneurs to bridge the gap between the producers and consumers.

 The recently organized provincial level exhibition on 3rd June, 2016 in Special Education Complex, Peshawar (the capital city of KP province) for up scaling and business match making for the artisans of the embroidery subsector is a worth mentioning endeavor of this series. The beauty of this exhibition was that the government’s Social Welfare and Women Empowerment Department Peshawar joined hands with HELVETAS taking the ownership in promotion and up scaling of these artisans to link up demand side with the supply side.

In this event 20 artisans (18 women and 2 men) displayed their stalls with the products for exploring the opportunities to expand their customer base outside DI Khan Market. While 150 whole sale buyers from Peshawar region, representatives from government departments like Small and Medium Enterprise Development Authority (SMEDA), Women Chamber of Commerce Peshawar and representatives from Academia like Art and Design department of IM sciences Peshawar and Home economics college Peshawar attended the event.

On the occasion Mr. Sikandar Hayat Khan Sherpao, the Minister for social welfare, special education and women empowerment government of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa not only appreciated the event and the related endeavors of HELVETAS in contributing to the empowerment of the artisans specially women so that they can earn their livelihood with dignity but also explored the mediums for future collaborations and engagements.

During the exhibition whole sale buyers not only exchanged their contacts with artisans for further future order placements but also invited them for meeting in the main Peshawar Saddar Market. The exhibition turned into a great success when after the visit all the stall holding artisans remained successful in securing orders for their products.

One of the artisans named Ms. Saeeda Bibi expressed with delight, “It is first time in my life that I travelled from the outskirts of DI Khan to Peshawar for displaying my products and skills in this exhibition in front of such a large gathering of people. It boosted my morale and raised my self-esteem as I realized that my art has a worth and praise in the eyes of people”.

Another artisan Ms. Naheed shared, “This exhibition broadened my vision. It helped me realize, the products of embroidery that I make have a huge demand even beyond DI Khan and has the potential to get orders consistently if links are established with the markets. In this exhibition many buyers showed interest in placing orders for my products and this is only the beginning I am sure I’ll excel my small scale business into bigger one”.

Ms. Tahira the artisan from DI Khan disclosed with excitement, “I was always of the view that being women we can never go out of DI khan for promotion of our products. In this exhibition I explored that my opinion was mere assumption based on the deep rooted fear of our traditional and cultural taboos that being women we at our own cannot identify and avail opportunities to upscale our income generation sources. This exhibition introduced me to the new world of marketing beyond DI Khan and wiped out all my fears and assumptions. The appreciation all the women artisans got from the people in the exhibition for their products helped me learn that though we are women but our efforts have a worth; we can make the difference and set examples for other counterparts”.   

 

Based on the above, it can be concluded that HELVETAS is helping women artisans in DI Khan to take steps towards restoring their dignities and making the markets work for poor. The endeavors in this regards are revealing the signs of building hope among artisans for better future; the persistent engagement with these artisan will further add on to the sustainability in this regard.  

Obituary: Devastated by the Chitral Plane Crash Tragedy in Havelian Intercooperation Pakistan

We are devastated on the unfortunate plane crash incident on 7th December 2016 in Havelian which took 47 precious lives, 9 women and 2 infants among deceased. This flight was on the way to Islamabad from Chitral. 

We are short of words to express our deepest condolences to all affected on this tragic incident. Our hearts go out to the families and loved ones of all those who perished leaving irreplaceable gaps in their respective spheres of lives. While this is a human tragedy of national significance for Pakistan, our close association with Chitral in development over the last two decades makes it even more overwhelming for us. It is our mutual loss and we find it hard to come to terms with this ill-fated reality.

Among others, we are deeply saddened to lose Mr. Osama Ahmed Warraich, Deputy Commissioner Chitral and his family. Mr. Warraich’s commitment, professionalism and down to earth outlook will never be forgotten. He deserves special tributes for his dedicated involvement in the development of Chitral within the short tenure of his appointment in Chitral. We found him completely attentive to good proposals and willing to take concrete actions for reducing vulnerabilities of people in Chitral. Our most recent interaction on 10th November 2016, just about a month before this unfortunate incident, was on final consultation on Local Adaptation Plan of Action for Chitral which he approved expressing full commitment of the district government (http://www.chitraltimes.com/English16/chitral-news-16-447.htm)

It is with profound sorrow that we express our deepest condolences to the families, friends and colleagues of those who died in the tragic accident. 

Intercooperation Team

 

December 2016

Participation in WOCAT workshop in Munich & AGUASAN workshop “DRR in WASH” in Switzerland

The World Overview of Conservation Approaches & Technology (WOCAT) workshop was jointly organized from 8th to 12th June 2015 by GIZ and the WOCAT Secretariat, Center for Development and Environment, University of Bern, Switzerland. In the workshop, I meet with Specialist, researchers and experts of sustainable Land Management from the different countries where WOCAT work. They shared their experiences in SLM spreading over two decades. The WOCAT event was open with the symposium which called for the contribution from experts in SLM.

 

I also participated in workshop “DRR in WASH”” organized by AUGASAN from 22nd to 27th June 2015, an interdisciplinary Swiss organization bringing together a wide range of specialists/ experts to promote wider and deeper understanding of key issues in the water sector in developing countries. The overall objectives of the workshop were the Learning and sharing of experiences about successful and failing approaches that integrating DRR principles and measures into WASH services delivery and preparedness to natural disasters. . Both the workshops WOCAT & AGUASAN, and some other activities that we have visited during the time are useful and will stay in good memory.