Islamabad, Pakistan, March 21, 2019: IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, is partnering with leading sugar producers in Pakistan to boost the sustainability and efficiency of their sugarcane production and ensure compliance with global sustainability and industry standards.
IFC will help AlMoiz Industries Limited and Thal Industries Corporation, members of the AlMoiz Group, to develop a capacity-building program to help smaller sugarcane farmers grow crops cost-effectively and sustainably.
The project will test new techniques in conservational tillage, irrigation, planting, fertilization, crop protection and harvesting at pilot farms in the Punjab and Khyber Pakhtunkhwah provinces. IFC and AlMoiz Group will then introduce the most successful practices to more than 15,000 sugarcane growers.
In Pakistan, sugarcane farmers obtain yields that are about half of their potential, said Nauman Khan, Managing Director of the AlMoiz Group. “It’s clear that conventional farming practices are directly hurting growers and negatively impacting water and soil resources”, he added.
He said that adopting modern practices will help farmers make sugarcane production environmentally sustainable and economically viable, which will also benefit the industry and the country.
Pakistan is the world’s sixth-largest sugarcane producer, the ninth-largest by sugar production, and the eighth-largest in terms of sugar consumption. However, its per hectare yield is significantly lower than that of global averages, due to outdated and inefficient crop production technologies, soil depleting tillage systems, and irrigation practices.
“Pakistan is one of the world’s main sugarcane producers but the industry is being constrained by outdated production practices,” said Nadeem Siddiqui, IFC’s Senior Manager for Pakistan. “Our aim is to boost the sector and bring it in line with global best practice to improve living standards for farmers and spur broader economic growth.”
IFC and AlMoiz Group will also partner with Bonsucro, the global sugarcane platform, to introduce Bonsucro-compliant systems and production practices along Pakistan’s sugarcane supply chain, to boost access to international markets.
The project is supported by the UK’s Department for International Development DFID.