Amjad Khan completed a Bachelor of Science in Agriculture from the Agricultural University of Peshawar. He was working for the Agriculture Department of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa as a Farm Manager when he received an Australia Awards Scholarship to complete a Master of Philosophy (Rural Management) at Curtin University.
“I am now completing my 10th year in the Agriculture Department. Since my return to Pakistan, I have been promoted to a Grade 18 cadre officer and I now work as a subject matter specialist in Agronomy and Extension.”
Amjad believes that while he is not able to influence policy in his role, he is able to influence how policies are implemented.
“As a public sector employee, my job does not allow me to revolutionise the agriculture sector. But it provides me with a wider outreach to the general public and the opportunity to implement pro-poor policies of the Government.”
“Having worked extensively with local farmers, I was selected as a focal person for the Agribusiness Support Fund (ASF) funded by the United States, to develop a house. The need for a house in Haripur was recognised due to a surplus of seasonal fruits, which affect the overall revenue of the small-scale farmers. Once established, this house will facilitate farmers to wash, dry, grade and pack seasonal fruits, especially citrus fruits. Therefore, fruits that are surplus to local demand will have a better chance of reaching the wider national markets.”
Amjad also initiated the ‘Backyard Orchard’, a personal project, on the outskirts of the district of Hazara, primarily in Beer valley, to promote small-scale orchard growing initiatives.
The project aims to enable residents of remote areas to grow fruits for both sale and sustenance. The plants are distributed free of cost to locals, and they grow them in their own backyards or small pieces of land. “I am thankful to my friends and colleagues for supporting me with this project.”
“I am extremely thankful to Australia Awards for the opportunity that has changed me as a person. I was encouraged by friends and family to immigrate to Australia after completing my contract with Australia Awards.”
“Australia is an amazing country, but my duty is to my country. I am thankful to Australia Awards and the Government of Australia for giving me such a prestigious opportunity.”