Technical advances such as new seed varieties, new approaches to irrigation, pest control or animal health offer enormous potential gains. But whether agriculture is organised in a way to capture these gains, is a question that relates to the policy framework and the underpinning institutional settings. Smallholders are the focus of ACIAR’s R4D program in partnership with the Pakistan Government, which recognises rural development , food security and poverty alleviation as priority targets.
Overall, government policy recognises that these targets are only achievable if both men and women are empowered to optimise their involvement. Empowerment implies progress across several domains, such as access to information and resources and the ability to make decisions and take action. ACIAR aims to mainstream this inclusive approach into all aspects of all projects, building on the learnings from the ASLP Social Research for Pro-Poor Value Chains project (2010-2015).