HomeContactUS$ 9 million MDTF grant for improving employment and productivity in the KP marble and food processing industry

25 marble mines identified for support and 750 jobs to be created

ISLAMABAD: September 17, 2013 – The Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP), Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA) and Balochistan Multi Donor Trust Fund (MDTF) announced today the approval of a US$ 9 million grant for the Competitive Industries Project for KP (CIPK).

Following the successful launch and implementation of MDTF’s Economic Revitalization in KP and FATA project (ERKF), the Government of KP requested MDTF’s support towards strengthening critical value chains of the province in two high potential sectors: dimension stones (especially marble) and the food processing industry The crises of 2009 and 2010, adversely affected major infrastructure impacting the sectors’ competitiveness and direct and indirect livelihoods associated with these sectors.

The CIPK will help improve the competitiveness of the marble and food processing sectors in KP by providing shared infrastructure and relevant skills along the marble sector value chain. (Value chain refers to the processing of raw materials to add value and the sale of these processed goods in the market). The project will also address knowledge and coordination gaps along the food processing sector.

For the marble sector, this will be achieved through the establishment of a machinery pool, common facility and training center for marble quarries in Risalpur Marble City. Linkages with both domestic and international markets for KP’s marble products will also be facilitated, ensuring that gains from all interventions along the value chain are maximized. A total of 25 marble mines will be targeted for enhanced productivity and 750 direct and indirect jobs will be created through skills training.

For the food processing sector, the project will provide support for the development of the Food Processing Cluster through value chain prioritization, analysis, feasibility studies and a cluster development program. Implementation agencies will be strengthened to ensure that project objectives are met.

Commenting on the importance of these initiatives, Ms. Nargis Sethi, Secretary, Economic Affairs Division stated “We, along with our development partners are committed to the development of KP. This project will help in the creation and restoration of jobs and the provision of livelihoods for some of KP’s poorest communities”.

Reiterating this, Mr. Rachid Benmessaoud, World Bank Country Director for Pakistan stated “The marble and food processing sectors have been two of the worst affected economic sectors in KP during the crises of 2009 and 2010. The sectors have huge potential to generate revenue and create jobs. This project will enhance productivity and employment in these sectors thus contributing to the provincial economy. ”

Ms. Nargis Sethi, Secretary, Economic Affairs Division and Mr. Rachid Benmessaoud, World Bank Country Director for Pakistan sign the grant agreement for MDTF's Competitive Industries Project for KP in the presence of Mr. Sajid Khan Jadoon, Secretary Ministry of Industries, Commerce, Technical Education and Manpower