Recognizing Market Development Facility (MDF) Pakistan’s recent work in silage,
Monsanto, an agricultural company, invited MDF and its partners to participate in a two-day Monsanto Farmer Expo at Manga Mandi. It was attended by more than 1,000 farmers and over 60 businesses. The main objective was to provide an interactive platform for key players in the horticulture and dairy value chains. MDF and its partners including Bank Alfalah, Al-Saffah Feedcom Private Limited, Telenor and Vital Agri Nutrients showcased as exhibitors to share knowledge and showcase their product range.
During the two-day expo, MDF networked with suppliers, manufacturers, customers and prospective partners to encourage development in the Horticulture and Dairy strategic engagement areas. Monsanto’s senior management, agricultural projects, private input companies, dairy and agri-service department of Nestlé Pakistan and farmers from all over Punjab visited MDF’s stall. They showed particular interest in the small-baled silage model for smallholder farmers in Pakistan. Monsanto’s management were interested to understand MDF’s work in silage and approach to private sector development. MDF explained how it supports businesses with innovative ideas and shared examples of investment in strategic engagement areas, ultimately benefiting the poor.
Al-Saffah, an input company that provides customized feed solutions for animals, displayed product samples at the stall and advised visiting farmers on how to raise animals through their customized solutions.
Vital Agri Nutrients, an input company, had a range of product samples on display at the stall, and explained to farmers how they could improve soil productivity and fertility conditions through VAN’s essential quality micronutrients needed for plant growth.
Representatives from Bank Alfalah educated farmers about their financial packages,
particularly those who showed interest in purchasing silage-making machinery.
Expanding digital footprint to the far-flung and underserved areas of the country, Telenor Pakistan was present at the event promoting their ‘Khushaal Zamindar’ initiative in collaboration with MDF Pakistan, in Gilgit-Baltistan. Farmers were attracted by Telenor’s initiative to help small scale farmers adopt modern and best practices in agriculture, through their network. They explained how the service provides localized, contextualized and customized information including weather forecasts, timely agronomic & livestock advisory through SMS and robo calls. This aims to help increase crop yield, reduce post-harvest losses, safeguard nutrition and better manage adverse climatic effects.
MDF is supporting companies to provide improved access to better inputs, formal markets, services and information to smallholder farmers. It is connecting agricultural input companies to smallholder fruit and vegetable farmers through innovative and inclusive approaches. Given MDF’s mandate and existing network within the industry, it was a useful event whereby the team interacted with relevant stakeholders from the dairy and livestock industry to share knowledge around MDF’s strategy in popularizing maize silage and interventions with their partners.