-   April 9, 2018
-   Naeem Hassan
Sadpara Development Project
AKRSP has long history of engagement with the communities and government line departments in the mountainous regions of Gilgit-Baltistan and Chitral. For the improvement in quality of life of local communities, AKRSP engages in different activities at all level including policy making. Sadpara Development Project (SDP) of Aga Khan Rural Support Programme (AKRSP) is a project that aims at maximizing economic and social benefits for the people living within the command area of right and left bank canals of the Satpara Dam.
Sadpara Development Project is funded by United States Agency for International Development (USAID). The prime awardee of SDP is Aga Khan Foundation (AKF) and AKRSP is sub-awardee. One of the components of SDP is creation of an enabling environment for the agriculture sector to grow through policy formulation. Feeling the policy lacuna in agriculture and livestock sector, the Chief Minister of Gilgit-Baltistan, Hafiz Hafeez-ul-Rehman requested AKRSP to provide technical and financial support for devising policies that would address the needs of agriculture and livestock in Gilgit-Baltistan. For that purpose, AKRSP in collaboration with Agriculture and Livestock Department Gilgit-Baltistan embarked upon the process of preparing policies.
Since its inception, Aga Khan Foundation Pakistan (AKFP) has been actively engaged with policy issues pertaining to Gilgit-Baltistan. It played a pivotal role in steering the whole process of policy formulation and coordination with government and with SDP team of AKRSP by bringing in expertise and providing technical support. This helped AKRSP and government teams to make required synergy for look at the issues of agriculture and livestock holistically.
To make policies inclusive, the team held consultative workshops with stakeholders in all the 10 districts of region. The consultations were held with government line departments, traders, chamber of commerce, civil society organizations and farmer associations. The policies owe a great deal to Agriculture Department Government of Gilgit-Baltistan that provided valuable input and early draft helped AKDN greatly in pushing the overall recommendations and policy work at all levels.
Now Gilgit-Baltistan Agriculture and Livestock Policy has been formally approved by Chief Minister GIlgit-Baltistan Hafiz Hafeez-ur-Rehman on recommendations of Dr. Kazim Niaz, Chief Secretary GB, in the cabinet meeting. On this occasion Chief Minister Gilgit-Baltistan lauded the role of AKF, AKRSP and SDP. This will be a new dawn in the development landscape of Gilgit-Baltistan as livestock and agriculture will be given a status of sector. The salient features of Agriculture and Livestock policies are revision of regulations, capacity building and restructuring of departments, commercialization and export of products etc.