KARACHI: World Wide Fund (WWF), Agriculture Extension Department (AED), the Sindh government and Better Cotton Initiative (BCI) signed a commitment of cooperation (CoC) to undertake agriculture specific activities focused on widespread dissemination and promotion of the Better Cotton Standard System (BCSS) in Sindh.
The agreement was signed by Hammad Naqi Khan, director general WWF; Hadiatullah Chijro, AED director general; and Lena Staafgard, CEO BCI. The CoC forges a partnership of five years between the organizations starting from February 2017 and ending in February 2022.
To achieve BCI's main objective of mainstreaming the BCSS, the plan is divided into three phases. The first two years will make up the first phase of the project whereas WWF will work as the main implementing partner in collaboration with AED. The third and fourth year, the second phase of the CoC, will see a reduction in WWF's role in direct field implementation activities and the WWF will act as BCI's strategic partner. In the third phase of the project starting from fifth year, WWF will continue working as a BCI strategic partner in the province and AED will take over all field related implementation activities, as core BCI implementing partner in order to mainstream BCSS in Sindh.
Talking on the occasion, Hammad expressed his willingness to work with the Sindh government to help make agricultural commodities like cotton and sugarcane part of a sustainable industry and make their production environment friendly as well as to reduce their footprint on priority ecosystems.
"WWF-Pakistan believes in collaborating with all stakeholders and working together towards a sustainable future. Our organization is already in a formal partnership with AED Baluchistan (sic) and AED Punjab for the capacity building of cotton farmers and other relevant stakeholders," he added.
Chijro welcomed the initiative to be partner with WWF-Pakistan and looked forward to sustainable cotton production in future in Sindh province.