Pakistan | From obstacles to orchards

Umer, a farmer from northern Pakistan, has never let his disability hold him back from achieving his goals of starting his own farming business and providing for his family. ©FAO/Haroon Rashid
Tags: PAKISTAN, NEAR EAST, VULNERABLE COMMUNITIES, VULNERABLE COMMUNITIES, DISPLACEMENT, CONFLICT, AGRICULTURE, FOOD SECURITY, LIVELIHOODS, RESILIENCE, , RESOURCE PARTNERS, UNITED STATES OF AMERICA,

01/09/2020

Umer has let nothing stand in the way of becoming a successful entrepreneur

In a sun-dappled orchard in Northern Pakistan, farmer and orchardist Muhammed Umer is collecting ripe fruits from bursting tree branches. After collecting a large haul of juicy pomegranates, guava and apples, he turns toward home, content with the day’s harvest.

In Annar Bagh, a remote corner of Waziristan, agriculture is the main source of livelihood for locals, but the lack of agricultural infrastructure and poor economic conditions make it a tough life. This adds to the difficulties already faced by local communities who had been temporarily displaced from their homes because of the conflict in 2008. For many years, Umer and his family lived in the Tank District, an area that hosted thousands of other displaced people. Not only was this environment tough, but Umer has had to overcome other challenges too – ones he has faced since birth.

Born with a physical impairment, Umer has consistently challenged the negative attitudes and stereotypes linked to disability, and he has never let any physical or societal constraint become a barrier to achieving his goals. Taking every opportunity to learn, he worked hard as a farmer and an orchardist and now his income provides a good quality of life for his whole family.

“I do not see my disability as an obstacle. But it took me some time to realise my strengths and to start pursuing my dreams” says Umer.

Source : Fao