Food Security minister, Bosan visits Engro Eximp rice plant

Karachi, October 16: The Federal Minister for Food Security & Research – Sikandar Hayat Khan Bosan visited the SPIRiT (System Productivity Innovative Rice Training) project earlier which is being jointly implemented by Engro Foundation – the CSR arm of Engro – and EngroEximp Agriproducts – the Company’s rice processing business.

The project is supported by the TVET Reform Support Programme, which is co-funded by the European Union, the Embassy of the Kingdom of the Netherlands, the Royal Norwegian Embassy and the Federal Republic of Germany and being implemented by the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH.

The SPIRiT project aims to improve agricultural productivity, efficiency and livelihoods for 10,000 farmers & 1200 agri-farm support persons by training them in the areas of resource conservation, water saving, plant population management, improved harvesting & best crop management practices in the Rice – wheat cropping system over a period of 15-months from December 2013 to February 2015.

Speaking at the occasion, Minister for National Food Security and Research, Mr. Sikandar Hayat Khan Bosan said “I appreciate SPIRiT Project Initiative jointly taken by GIZ, Engro Foundation and Engro Eximp for improving Farming practices through a package of trainings and demonstrations. This will definitely improve knowledge, skill set and expertise of the small farmers and landless farm support workers on innovative agricultural practices along with improving their yield, quality of the harvests, profitability and livelihood while saving water and exerting positive impacts on the environment.” The Minister also visited farmer fields to see demonstration of SPIRiT project concepts. He also lauded the role of EU, Dutch, Norway and the German governments for supporting the reform in the areas of technical education and vocational training (TVET).

SPIRiT is an innovative on-field training program to boost the productivity of small rice farmers by 8-15% per acre per rice season, while conserving 25%-35% water and agricultural resources along with other benefits like skill enhancement, improvement in farmers’ income &livelihoods. The project aims to train farmers in newer and innovative methods/techniques of rice farming that include Alternate Wetting and Drying (AWD), Direct Seeding of Rice (DSR), Optimum Plant Population Management (OPPM) and Harvesting related Best Management Practices in the rice–wheat cropping system over a period of 15-months from December 2013to February 2015.

For more information, please contact:
Saima Saleem at Xenith Public Relations, Tel: 0300-2968278
Shamikh Ahmed at Engro Corp, Cell: 0302-8175133