Representative of the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) of the United Nations’ in Pakistan, Rebekah Bell called on Pakistani officials on Monday and discussed with them the rural market opportunities for farmers in the newly merged districts of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and the challenges faced by farmers and traders in Khyber whose markets are in Afghanistan. During the meeting of FAO representative with MNA Nafeesa Khattak and Deputy Commissioner of district Khyber of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP) Mansoor Khattak, it was highlighted that FAO will continue to work with the Government of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and development partners to strengthen the economy in the newly merged districts, by improving commercial agriculture production and businesses as well as developing better cross border market linkages for farmers and traders. Speaking on the occasion, MNA Nafeesa Khattak said, “The federal government is actively working on strengthening Pakistan’s trade relationship with Afghanistan, including improving the performance of border agencies, better border infrastructure and improving border clearance procedures. Improving agriculture production in the merged districts and connecting small holder farmers with markets in Pakistan and Afghanistan is a priority for the federal government.” FAO Representative a.i, Rebekah Bell stated that “FAO has a long standing relationship with the federal and provincial governments in support of the farmers of the merged districts. FAO, with the provincial agriculture and livestock departments, are assisting farmers in achieving better agriculture production outcomes and stronger market linkages in an effort to significantly increase farmer income levels. We look forward to deepening our work with the federal and provincial governments in support of strengthening cross border trade opportunities for small holder farmers.