Peshawar (Staff Report): U.S. Ambassador Donald A. Blome participated in a closing event of a five-year, $1.3 million U.S. Embassy-funded sustainable farming program today.

The Alternative Livelihoods Options Project, which was implemented by the FAO with the assistance of the KP government, has helped 3,700 farmers, including over 600 women, increase their incomes by teaching them improved agricultural practices and increasing their access to new, alternative crops.

The program’s “achievements are far-reaching,” said Ambassador Blome, noting that it “helped establish fruit orchards, vegetable gardens, greenhouses, and irrigation systems benefitting more than 25,000 people.”

He also commended the 624 women leaders who participated in the project. “You inspire us and give us hope for a better tomorrow,” he said.

Ambassador Blome thanked Director General Khan, Secretary Marwat and the FAO for their assistance in carrying out the project.

After the ceremony, Ambassador Blome met farmers who participated in the project and planted a tree at FAO premises.

Muhammad Javed Marwat, Secretary, Agriculture Department Khyber Pakhtunkhwa; Jan Muhammad Khan, Director General, Agricultural Extension Khyber Pakhtunkhwa; and Farrukh Toirov, Head of Officer UN Food and Agriculture (FAO), Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, also spoke at the event.

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