Nestlé Pakistan has signed two Memoranda of Understanding (MoU) that will see it give financial backing to mango growers who employ drip irrigation systems, while also partnering with a leading research institute to help improve farming practices.
The first MoUs signed with the Punjab Agriculture Department involves taking on Mango Research Institute, Multan as a research partner in its Chaunsa Project, which aims to improve the livelihood of farmers through what is referred to as “Creating Shared Values (CSV) intervention”.
The project was launched in 2014 in collaboration with Australia-Pakistan Agriculture Sector Linkages Programme (ASLP) and the Pakistan Agriculture Research Council (PARC), with the goal of achieving best farm practices that result in the “right quality pulp and improved harvest”.
In a release, Nestlé Pakistan said it hoped access to the latest research in the mango sector and best farm practices would help build on its existing work with growers.
The second MoU relates to the Water Resource Management Project, in which Nestlé will partner with the Water Management Wing of the department for a program that offers 60% subsidies to farmers who employ high efficiency irrigation systems.
Under the arrangement, Nestlé has pledged to bear the 40% share the farmer owes to the government.
The group said the project was spread over 10 acres, located around the district of Sheikhupura, with projected expansion to reach 50 acres by the end of this year.
Nestlé Pakistan head of corporate affairs Waqar Ahmad said he believed the company was resolving the global challenge of sustainable business through a multi-stakeholder approach.
“That is what we are doing through these MoUs,” he said.
“Our approach to sustainable business, what we call Creating Shared Value, is also in line with United Nation’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs); in this case the second (Zero Hunger – promoting sustainable agriculture) and the sixth (Clean Water and Sanitation – sustainable management of water).”
Agriculture Secretary Muhammad Mahmood said Chaunsa was one of the best varieties of mango for export, but improvements were needed in production.
“More than 90% of water usage is for Agriculture and in order to successfully tackle the impending water shortage, we need to encourage farmers to become mindful of how they use water,” Mahmood said.
“Nestlé Pakistan is a perfect partner because it is well poised to help us make a difference.”
Headline photo: Nestlé Pakistan