Pakistan partnerships in inclusive seed systems

Pakistan partnerships in inclusive seed systems

Round 2 Pakistan Agriculture Completed



Partner contribution

$ 558,016

DFAT contribution

$ 499,100

Icon Total Funds

Total Value

$ 1,057,116

Start: November 2017 - End: April 2020


The Engro Corporation

The Engro Corporation is a diverse company with operations in fertiliser, dairy, energy and chemicals. It also has a fast growing seed business. In 2009 it established the Engro Foundation, a social investment arm. Business inclusiveness is at the heart of Engro’s social impact strategy as the company looks to integrate the underprivileged, youth and women into its value chains. Engro lead this initiative, including all technical and commercial activities.

MEDA (Mennonite Economic Development Associates)

For 60 years, MEDA has implemented market-driven initiatives in the developing world. MEDA focuses on market systems development, inclusive financial services, and investment-led programming. MEDA has a strong history in agriculture, building and strengthening the business foundations and commercial relationships smallholder farmers need to improve their livelihoods.

Australian Government

The Australian Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade works with international partners and other countries to tackle global challenges, increase trade and investment opportunities, protect international rules, keep our region stable and help Australians overseas.


About this partnership

In Pakistan, 75 per cent of seed is uncertified and sold through informal channels. Most of this uncertified seed does not meet minimum quality standards, resulting in poor yields. This partnership aims to increase participation of male and female smallholder farmers in the Sheikhupura/Gujranwala districts in Punjab in the seed value chain, and to improve their skills and expertise to improve smallholder farmers’ crop yields and income.

This initiative develops an innovative, scalable and sustainable business model in Pakistan’s seed sector that broadens and diversifies the seed procurement base for rice, wheat and vegetables, resulting in improved livelihoods for male and female smallholder farmers.

The Engro Corporation works with smallholder farmers, introducing them to seed growing techniques and helping them become part of the seed supply chain. Through existing partnerships with Engro, MEDA helps smallholder farmers while ensuring sustainable business benefits for Engro. DFAT provides expertise in women’s economic empowerment and agricultural development, and support with critical co-investment. DFAT also leverage its convening power and local networks to achieve development and social outcomes.

This partnership creates shared value by redefining productivity in the value chain. By working with smallholder farmers, Engro will be able to broaden its seed supplier base and the volume of seed available for sale. These farmers benefit primarily through increased income from producing and selling certified seed, which can be sold at a higher price than regular crops. Farmers also benefit by learning new farming practices and marketing techniques.


This initiative promotes women’s economic empowerment through alternative livelihoods – as farmers using better seeds, as seed multipliers and as registered seed suppliers. It enhances women’s voices in decision making and community leadership through introduction of Women’s Seed Multiplication groups.

While women work in smallholder farms, they are not in public leadership roles and are not seen as seed producers. The partnership aims to ensure 10 per cent of farmers participating at each level are women, from initial farmer training through to registration as seed suppliers. The partnership uses Women’s Seed Multiplication Groups and trains women master trainers to enable women to access new skills and information in culturally appropriate settings. Seed production and management are potentially lucrative for women as post-harvest handling for seed can be done from home.


Get all the latest news from the BPP