Project Profile

SAI Platform Coordination for Sustainable Agriculture in Pakistan

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Project Name

SAI Platform Coordination for Sustainable Agriculture in Pakistan

client

SAI Platform company consortium in Pakistan

Prime Contractor

Resonance

Country

Pakistan

Time Period

2020

Opportunity for Impact

The SAI Platform was launched by Danone, Nestle, and Unilever in 2002 to accelerate pre-competitive collaboration across the food and beverage industry. Today, it is a network of more than 100 member companies, working together to accelerate widespread adoption of sustainable agricultural practices, globally.

This includes Pakistan, which has become a vital global source of sugarcane, wheat, rice and other agricultural commodities. Agriculture is a critical source of livelihood and an economic driver in the country, contributing roughly 24 percent of Gross Domestic Product and accounting for half of the employed labor force. But climate change poses new risks for the viability of the agriculture sector: Changes in monsoon patterns have already introduced periods of drought and flooding, leading to declining yields, rising prices, and negative economic impacts on more than 100 million people in farming communities. Pakistan is also continually challenged by water scarcity, and excessive use of fertilizer and pesticides has degraded soil health and polluted water sources. On the social front, Pakistan’s agricultural sector has a number of challenges linked to gender equity and fair labor.

The sustainability challenges in Pakistan are systemic and complex and as a result, short-term projects or trainings have often been challenged to sustain longer term social, environmental, and economic results.

Solution

Resonance is working with a company consortium from The Sustainable Agriculture Initiative (SAI) platform—including leading multinational agribusinesses such as PepsiCo and Ingredion—to build pre-competitive and cross-sector partnerships that advance sustainable agricultural supply chains in Pakistan.

It is common for companies in Pakistan to concentrate sourcing in the most fertile regions, so farmers often alternate crops between seasons. This means that different companies may be buying from the same set of farmers but at different times of the year. To promote soil quality and health, Pakistani farmers must deploy sustainable, regenerative agricultural practices year-round and across their major crops. This leads buyer companies to have a vested interest in what happens to the fields even when they are used to grow crops for other buyers. 

The SAI Platform consortium and several of their member companies engaged Resonance to identify intersecting challenges in supply chains and coordinate action and pre-competitive collaboration—or competitors working together to advance a common goal—to address shared sustainability challenges in Pakistan.

Resonance leads a multi-stage initiative to:

  • Understand the sustainability challenges in Pakistan;
  • Assess the local stakeholder and partner landscape;
  • Identify areas of overlap or potential efficiencies in combining efforts or resources;
  • Align pre-competitively on a partnership approach for engaging with farmers in Pakistan.

Key Results

In the first phase of our work with the SAI Platform and its company consortium:

  • We conducted interviews to understand what supply chain challenges each company faced and to map existing sustainable agriculture initiatives.
  • Next, we analyzed supply chain issues to prioritize areas for partnership to:
    • Drive progress in sustainable agriculture in Pakistan
    • Advance the objectives of each company, and
    • Support the mission of the SAI Platform.
  • From this work, we identified three priority areas for potential pre-competitive collaboration related to sustainable agriculture in Pakistan.

During the second phase, we engaged our local partner in Pakistan to complete interviews and co-creation sessions with a wide range of stakeholders—including local government, companies, foundations, multilaterals, and international development banks—to map the landscape of existing projects and activities across each of our three priority areas. This landscape mapping will help us determine how the consortium companies can most strategically partner and engage across each priority area.

As we explore next steps for the project, we anticipate that through coordinated, collective action, the SAI Platform consortium can be a powerful force in advancing sustainable agriculture in Pakistan.

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