A Model for Rural Prosperity in Politically-Charged Pakistan

Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP) is one of five provinces in Pakistan, located in the northwest region of the country. The Soviet invasion of Afghanistan in 1979 caused over 3 million refugees to flee to this province, making KP the military and political center of the Afghan anti-Soviet coalition and increasing instability and food security risk. KP encouraged residents and refugees to start agriculture businesses, to work toward food security and boost the economy. Corn became the second largest food and cash crop in KP after wheat, yet farmers were reaping low yields due to inadequate crop management and limited access to tools for advanced food crop production technologies. Hybrid corn presented solutions for better corn production as introduced by Cargill Company in 1990 followed by DuPont Pioneer in 1992. However, extreme weather, problematic channels for distributing seeds, and safety and security warnings in KP and the neighboring Pak-Afghan border areas created key challenges for hybrids to successfully enter the market.

Meet the team behind this innovation. Left to Right: Jehanzeb Khan, Aftab Khan, Asif Alishah, Muhammad Ashraf

In 2002 DuPont Pioneer realigned its sales and services workforce in KP to help farmers improve their productivity and raise their farm income with high yielding seed products. The company helped farmers build their knowhow and enabled them to increase yields and profitability from available land and water resources. Farmers consider DuPont Pioneer an innovative and responsible seed company and trust its business initiatives as a model for rural prosperity.

Despite persistent challenges for safety and security in KP from deteriorating law and order, militancy and extremism, there were zero incidents in core values compliance between 1998 and 2012. This was accomplished through the commitment of business management, regular training, in field coaching and operational guidelines to DuPont Pioneer workforce on core values.