USAID PATTA holds consultative meeting to enhance use of agricultural technology

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Lahore: USAID Pakistan Agricultural Technology Transfer Activity (PATTA) held a consultative working group meeting to discuss innovative approaches to enhance the use of their agricultural technologies by farmers in Punjab. USAID PATTA provided technical assistance to the private sector to develop social and behavior change communication (SBCC) to increase awareness regarding best agricultural management practices, increase sales, and improve farmer adoption of innovative agricultural technologies. Ultimately, as the project’s partners increase outreach, the farming community will make significant gains by using the right tools and practices to spend less and earn more on their farm land.

PATTA seeks to commercialize agricultural products and services which can enhance farmers’ productivity and access to affordable and innovative technologies through its private sector partnerships. The project offers support in enhancing SBCC approaches to help the private sector to develop an understanding of the current practices and behaviors which generally discourage wider technology adoption.

Hussnain Atta, Business Development Manager at Farm Dynamics Pakistan (FDP), participated in this consultative session and appreciated USAID’s commitment to upscale technology adoption. He added, “PATTA’s facilitation in broader marketing and promotional techniques is an excellent opportunity to reach new farmers. By introducing SBCC tools and marketing tactics, we can reinforce messages to mobilize farmers and take our technologies to new areas.”

Since January 2019, PATTA has collaborated with private sector partners to develop effective mediums and messages which are impactful and cost-effective. In particular, PATTA facilitated FDP in launching its first-ever SBCC campaign on improved fodder seeds earlier this year. The campaign focused on using interpersonal communication methods supplemented by a social media campaign to reinforce the messages to farmer communities. Due to these efforts, FDP expanded its presence in new targeted districts of Punjab and reached over 900 farmers as well as dealers and local influencers.

“By spearheading transformative change through modern SBCC techniques, USAID PATTA is closely working with its partners to organize community engagement activities and digital media campaigns. These campaigns will address the sensitivities of farmers and help them overcome the barriers which discourage them from using technological solutions”, stated PATTA Chief of Party Jean Francois Guay.

USAID PATTA’s SBCC working group is a vibrant platform for agricultural technology companies to participate in discussions related to farmer engagement which enable the private sector to expand technology sales and ultimately benefit farmers. By 2021, PATTA will benefit 122,500 small farmers from technology adoption through increased awareness and engagement.