SPEP was initiated as a joint venture between NRSP and the Jamal Din Wali Sugar Mills in 2000 with the objective of enabling 10,000 farmers with small land-holdings to double their per acre yield of sugarcane, and thereby raise their incomes and standard of living, over three years. The project was launched in District Rahim Yar Khan in areas adjacent to the JDW Mill. We have intervened in one hundred eleven (111) union councils and 846 revenue villages within these union councils, 193,026 acres of land and 101,988 households in four (04) tehsils namely ‘Rahim Yar Khan’, ‘Khan Pur’, ‘Liaqat Pur’ and ‘Sadiqabad’. It is a comprehensive and intended intervention for agriculture production expansion and the living standards of poor people. Its need was felt when the statistics of the region showed the declining trends in the acreage of sugarcane. The declining trend was attributed to poor seed quality, low yields, nonscientific agronomic practices, lack of access to credit and delayed payment to small growers by the Mills which discouraged the small farmers and growers. Therefore, SPEP was initiated as a joint venture between NRSP and the Jamal Din Wali Sugar Mills with the objective to double the production of sugarcane of 10,000 small farmers living in designated Union Council around the JDW Mill in RYK. SPEP has been designed to enhance small farm (<20 acres) profitability through agriculture & livestock extension services and provision of credit without collateral. The community organizations (COs) receive SPEP support from a professional team consisting of a social organizer, an agricultural extension officer, and a veterinary officer. The SPEP program had a significant positive impact on total household income, farm income, sugarcane income, and household expenditures.
The following activities have been carried out in the SPEP area;
- Community Mobilization carried out by NRSP
- Organization of small farmers into Community Organization (CO)
- Providing them planning and management training
- Development of marketing channels
Extension services carried out by JDW Mill
- Arrangement of quality inputs
- Giving technical advice
- Better agronomic practices
Financial Services carried out both by NRSP and JDW Mills i.e., SPEP
- CO savings
- Credit for fertilizer
- Credit for agriculture machinery and implements
With continued support from JDW Sugar Mills, NRSP expanded its operation in 111 union councils. The number of active COs grew in 2018-19 up to 9,265 with a membership of 100,201 farmers. The main features of the SPEP include:
- Increase the income of poor rural people by the increase in per acre yield of sugarcane, through:
- Improvement in production technology
- Resource use efficiency
- Need-based support (credit, agri-machinery, inputs, seed, etc.)
- Assurance of timely payments by sugar mills.
- Ensure a sufficient quantity of quality sugarcane in the catchment area of sugar mills.
- Social mobilization and organization of the rural poor into Community Organizations (COs)
- Provision of agricultural extension services; agricultural graduates employed by JDW Sugar Mills provide services through direct advice in CO meetings, published literature and farm visits.
- Credit facility from JDW Sugar Mills and NRSP for the purchase of seed and other agricultural inputs on the guarantee of the COs.
- Small farmers have access to new Seeds, Pesticides/farm machinery provided by JDW Sugar Mills on credit at subsidized rates
NRSP distributed loans amounting to Rs. 2,412.13/- million in the year 2018-19 to raise the productivity & income of the farming communities, which is really helping to increase the social and economic life of the rural communities. SPEP program has a significant impact on the income of participating households in treatment villages especially for those rural households that participate in CO over longer periods