Improving the livelihood and working conditions of the vulnerable workers – particularly women, in the Rural Agro-food economy through Value Chain Development

The ILO in partnership with UNIDO is implementing a One UN Joint pilot project, which aims at improving the livelihood and working conditions in the selected agro-food value chain in Gilgit Baltistan Province of Pakistan. The project- through a set of gender-responsive interventions will engage with partners and producers; address the deficits in productivity and working conditions by skills development; instituting simple technology and awareness-raising on the key elements of Decent Work.

At a glance

Department of Labour GB, Department of Agriculture GB, Ministry of Overseas Pakistanis and Human Resource Development, Employers’ Federation of Pakistan (EFP), Pakistan Workers’ Federation (PWF), Provincial manpower training department


One UN fund


January to June 2018

Target beneficiaries

Small and micro-agriculture farmers and producers (women and men in the Gilgit Baltistan Province – whose working conditions and farm productivity would ultimately improve)

Geographical focus

Gilgit Baltistan Province, Pakistan

Project Objectives

Agriculture is the largest economic sector, employing 46 percent of the Pakistani labour force. Within this sector, the absence of formal ‘technical or vocational’ training opportunities to enhance the productivity of the agriculture sector has resulted in the continued use of obsolete skills, which are mostly transferred through inheritance or learning-by-doing. Owing to informality of agriculture sector, the working conditions of the farmers, and in particular women, are far from ideal and calls for affirmative action. The combined effect is, visible as low productivity, inferior quality products and poor marketing.

Given this context, the ILO in partnership with UNIDO, is implementing a One UN Joint pilot project in Pakistan, which will contribute towards the improvement of rural agro-based livelihoods in the selected districts of Gilgit Baltistan Province of Pakistan, a predominantly agro-based economy. The project – through set of gender-responsive interventions - intends to identify and address the deficits in productivity and working conditions in the selected agro-food value chains by employing ILO’s tested approaches including the tool on Training on Rural Economic Empowerment (TREE) i.e. community engagement; skills development, awareness-raising and micro-industrial units. The project is financed under the One-UN Fund.

Development Objective

To enhance the incomes and food security of poor rural households engaged in production, processing and marketing of selected agricultural commodities through improved production practices, vocational skills for existing and new farmers (focusing on women) and adopt decent work practices.

Main Activities

  • Commission and gender-sensitive value chain study to identify productivity and decent work deficits in the selected agro-food value chains.
  • Convene stakeholder consultations to identify the capacity building needs to support the value addition of selected agro-food products.
  • Strengthen the institutional capacity of tripartite stakeholders through awareness raising/educational programmes to address the decent work deficits.
  • Undertake a Training Need Assessment (TNA) to identify skills gaps in the selected value chains.
  • Design and deliver training to 200 direct beneficiaries (women/men) on technical skills, good agriculture, aquaculture practices and decent work approaches.
  • Impart awareness sessions to farmers and producers on worker’s rights and responsibilities.
  •  Extend support for the establishment of a Provincial Social Dialogue system to promote Decent Work in GB Province.

Project Outcomes

  • Selected agro-food value chains supported and upgraded for scale-up while adopting decent work practices.
  • Export oriented businesses linked to new markets and institutional capacities developed.
The ILO will focus on the first outcome, while the second outcome will be dealt by UNIDO.

Value Chain Development
ILO's Value Chain Development work focuses on the subsectors that are most relevant for job creation and job quality improvement. The ILO aims at addressing systems and institutions that can drive competitiveness and job creation in specific sectors by using a market development approach. The ILO's interventions build on private sector development strategies that seek to strengthen enterprises, business relationships and services, market structures, and the business environment so that they channel more benefits to the poor and create more and better jobs effectively.