Farmers Development Program (FDP):
Farmers Development Program mainly addresses this large section of poor men and women farmers. The purpose of this program is to educate and organize farmers not only to confront the dismal rural poverty they are facing but also help enable them to fight for their rights.
The program envisages these objectives:
Forming poor farmer groups and their networks
Increasing awareness of farmers rights
Supporting poor farmers rights movement
Reviving indigenous knowledge systems
Developing sustainable models of farming
Creating opportunities for poor farmers participation in decision making forums
Farmers participating in this program are:
-Farmers with less than 5 acres of land
-Peasants cultivating land less than 10 acres
-Farmers with low capital
-Farmers from minority groups
The program formally started in November 1999 in two provinces of Pakistan namely Sindh and Punjab. Training and education of small farmers to build their capacity is the most important part of this program. It ranges from group organization to organic farming. Technical know-how for better produce and marketing is another part of the program; it immediately brings dividends of high performance. Discussions on gender equity, peace, democracy and good governance played an essential role in the development of the program and participants. It brings people together and strengthens poor. Linkages with government departments had proved successful contrary to general impression that the line departments do not cooperate. Setting-up poor farmers network to raise collective voice and take actions, the approach created a sense of cooperation amongst the farmers committees which was never there. Sharing information on relevant issues is another important feature; it empowers the poor as they have been consciously denied their right to information. Issue based rallies and seminars encouraged the poor farmers to voice for social justice. Rural theatre and indigenous cultural activities are important part of program as they are progressive secular and are closer to the hearts of farmers.
Within the period of less than two years, the farmers have been organized in 17 districts of Sindh and Punjab, whereas 840 farmers trained in these districts. There are 190 farmers groups and associations and 43 resource organizations, 33 demonstration plots around organic farming, there are two provincial networks of farmers representing thousands of poor men and women farmers, and a new movement of poor farmers is initiated. Farmers, with the help of South Asia Partnership Pakistan bring out a monthly newspaper called “Chanan”. This newspaper is supported by the farmers committees. 25,000 copies of the newspaper are printed every month which are read by thousands of men and women farmers.
Strengthening Democratic Governance in Pakistan (SDGP):
The Strengthening Democratic Governance in Pakistan (SDGP) program is a four-year intervention of SAP-Pakistan aimed at increasing the participation of rural poor in local governance. This will create spaces for them to significantly contribute towards decision-making and policies formulated for their development and well being at the local level. The rural poor - as repeatedly referred to stands for subsistence farmers, peasants, rural workers, and minorities. However in all these categories women will be given priority.
The program is being implemented in 40 districts and 400 union councils of Pakistan (ten districts from each province and ten union councils from each district). The geographical universe of program’s activities will cut across all tiers of local governance. Some activities will also be conducted at provincial and national levels.
Pakistan Coalition for Free and Fair Democratic Elections (PACFREL):
Pakistan Coalition for Free and Fair Democratic Elections (PACFREL) is a broad coalition of Pakistani national civil society organizations believing in democracy and transparent democratic processes. It was established in 2006 and since its inception, it has been thriving to advocate and ensure citizens right to participate in democratic processes.