PPAF Expands Financial Support to Boost Agribusiness in Pakistan


ISLAMABAD – The Memorandum of Understanding between the Pakistan Poverty Alleviation Fund (PPAF) and the country’s major financial institutions (FIs) would facilitate financial support to micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) to develop the livestock and livestock sectors. horticulture in 22 districts of Sindh and Balochistan.

This understanding shared by all stakeholders emerged during the signing ceremony to partner with 5 other FIs, making a total of 19 FIs, who are on board for growth for rural progress and sustainable progress ( GRASP), funded by the EU, implemented through international trade. Center (ITC) in partnership with the PPAF and the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO).

Besides others, Zain ul-Haq Qureshi, Managing Director, Asia Insurance Company Limited; Hussain Ali Haider, Country Manager – SMED, Askari Bank Limited; Sardar Mohammad Abubakr, Chief Financial and Digital Officer, Mobilink Microfinance Bank Limited; Ali Raza Anjum, Director of Operations, The First Microfinance Bank Limited; and Arshad Hassan Awan, Executive Vice President (Credit Division), Zarai Taraqiati Bank Limited were present from time to time to sign MoUs on behalf of their organizations. Previously in Karachi on December 9, 2021, PPAF had signed MoUs with Allied Bank Limited, Advans Pakistan Microfinance Bank Limited, ASA Pakistan Limited, Bank Alfalah Limited, JS Bank Limited, Meezan Bank Limited, National Bank of Pakistan, Pak Oman Microfinance Bank Limited, SAFCO Support Foundation, Sindh Enterprise Development Fund, Sindh Microfinance Bank Limited, Shah Sachal Sami Foundation (SSSF), Thardeep Microfinance Foundation and United Bank Limited (UBL).

Both ceremonies were attended by CEOs and FI group leaders.

Speaking on the occasion, Nadir Gul, COO PPAF, stressed the need to partner with FIs to strengthen the small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) sector. He further added that SMEs are the main contributors to the economy and therefore need to be fully supported for the sustainable development of the country. He welcomed the massive response of FIs to unite to guarantee access to finance for graduate companies. Speaking on the occasion, Irshad Khan Abbasi, Group Leader, PPAF, believed that linking FIs to other PPAF programs would significantly increase access to finance in rural communities.

Tariq Sardar reiterated that GRASP is an ITC flagship project, and that it is fully committed to strengthening SMEs at the local level, but also to pushing to provide an enabling environment and pro-SME policies at the macro level.

Muhammad Shahbaz Jamil, President of Zarai Taraqiati Bank (ZTBL), congratulated the PPAF, under the auspices of GRASP, for taking this initiative to support the growth of agricultural enterprises. He also shared a statistic that ZTBL owns a 20% share of agricultural loans and offered ZTBL’s commitment to ensure the growth of SMEs. While ensuring Mobilink’s support for the GRASP project, Mohammad Abubakr stressed the need to expand digital financial services (DFS) to include remote areas. He also highlighted the role that business aggregators can play to ensure project delivery and improve project impact. Hussain Ali Haider, while appreciating the initiative, said that the support and mentoring of beneficiaries will strengthen the entire value chain in the targeted districts.


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