Agricultural Commercialisation and Trade Project (PACT) has selected some 291 projects to provide its grant aimed at enabling farmers and agribusiness groups to engage in profitable market-oriented production.

According to PACT, among the 1,400 proposals, it has selected some 291 projects/firms through competitive selection process. It is the third phase of the PACT grant programme. Each of the project or firm will get Rs 3 million to Rs 5 million grant.

In the third phase, there were 55 vegetable production projects, 41 dairy production projects, 30 poultry groups, 23 dairy and dairy-related production groups, 22 coffee production projects, 20 seeds production projects, 12 floriculture groups and some animal husbandry projects.

“The project will be signing an agreement with the selected firms by October,” PACT director Yogendra Kumar Karki, said, adding that after the signing, they will get the grant.

PACT will invest around Rs 900 million – under the match-making grant project – while the selected farmers and agribusiness group needs to invest a combined Rs 1 billion.

Earlier, the project had selected some 52 firms – among the 388 applicants – under the first phase and invested Rs 120 million on them, while the selected firms  had invested Rs 144 million

Likewise, in the second phase, it had selected 204 projects, among 1,500 applicants.

PACT – that is planning to expand to all 75 districts from current 25 districts – aims at improving the competitiveness of smallholder farmers and agribusiness sector by helping farmer groups and cooperatives engage in profitable production.

It also aims at improving access to markets through technology and information services with the investment of Rs 8.20 billion by the end of the project in 2018. PACT – that is in operation since 2009 and will continue until June 2018 – is is implemented by Ministry of Agriculture Development with the assistance of the World Bank.

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