Lahore, November 07, 2013 (PPI-OT): The United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) has provided 165 High Density Polyethylene Stack Packages (known as Gunji kits) worth PKR 14.7 million and enabling storage of 58,000 metric tons of wheat to Pakistan Agricultural Storage and Services Corporation (PASSCO) in a joint effort to reduce post-harvest losses. Previously, WFP supplied 500 kits along with 10 wheat cleaning/grading machines to PASSCO in 2012.
During a ceremony organized at PASSCO headquarters in Lahore today, WFP Representative and Country Director, Lola Castro, handed over these kits to the Acting Managing Director, Lt. Col. (Retd.) Muhammad Younis. WFP Punjab’s Chief of Provincial Office, Shahzada Rashid, and senior PASSCO General Managers and officials were also present on the occasion.
According to recent national studies, post-harvest losses in Pakistan are estimated at 10 to 15 percent. About 78 percent of wheat is stacked in the open and the organization has started to gradually improve its storage capacity in order to protect the wheat.
“The contribution of kits over the past two years is part of WFP’s co-investment with the Government of Pakistan in achieving enhanced and effective storage of wheat in order to reduce post-harvest losses due to spoilage and infestation and to obtain improved shelf-life and quality of stored wheat.
This initiative has the added benefit of improving food security in Pakistan by increasing the amount and quality of wheat available for consumption by the population” said Lola Castro.
“The kits provided by WFP will enhance protection of wheat stacked in areas where PASSCO does not have any concrete godowns. Since tarpaulins we used to cover the grain with are no longer resistant to climatic conditions, these Gunji kits come in very useful and will last for at least two years.
We are very pleased to acknowledge the support provided by WFP which will enable PASSCO to further improve its wheat storage capacity and the quality of wheat”, said Lt. Col. Retd. Muhammad Younis, Managing Director, PASSCO.
WFP works in close collaboration with the Government of Pakistan and aligns its strategies with national priorities addressing food security and nutrition in the country. WFP’s programme of work aiming to assist 8.3 million people between 2013 and 2015 at a total cost of US$535 million seeks, amongst others, to improve economic opportunities and promote social inclusion in FATA, boost community resilience in disaster-prone areas, and address nutrition and education in the country.
For more information, contact:
World Food Programme (WFP) – Pakistan
Phone: +9251-8312000 Ext. 2270
Mobile Phone: +92-300-8500989
Satellite Phone: Fax: +9251-2855857/2851870