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July 11, 2020

Sino-Pak cooperation entails huge potential for agriculture sector’s growth


July 11, 2020

Islamabad : The agricultural cooperation between China and Pakistan have a huge role in agricultural up-gradation and technological transfer to Pakistan, said Muhammad Mudassir Tipu, Director-General (China) at Ministry of Foreign Affairs, on Friday.

"The memorandum of understanding (MoUs) between the two countries have provided the right kind of framework that needs to be vigorously pursued the goals of collaboration and cooperation in agriculture sector," he said during an online dialogue organised by the Sustainable Development Policy Institute (SDPI) on ‘China-Pakistan Agriculture Cooperation’ here on Friday.

Mr Tipu, while highlighting various aspects of the cooperation in agriculture sector and MoUs in this context, said that the decision-making on implementing this vision has been institutionalized through a consultative process covering various dimensions of the cooperation.

"With the help of technology, hybrid seeds and training to farmers, the productivity of wheat and other crops in Pakistan could be enhanced tremendously."

The official said China had lent valuable support to Pakistan in locus control efforts including the provision of pesticides, drones and other technological support.

Agricultural Commissioner at the Embassy of China in Pakistan Dr Gu Wenliang said that there is a lot of potential in Pakistan to enhance agricultural productivity through the use of better technology.

He said Prime Minister Imran Khan had shown keen interest in enhancing cooperation and collaboration between the two countries in agriculture sector during his visit to China and MoUs signed between the two countries reflect the same approach on both sides.

"Agricultural technology exchange and cooperation in capacity building are some of the key elements of this cooperation and CPEC would be turned into a corridor of agriculture development, joint research labs and research centres," he said.

Dr Gu Wenliang said Pakistani agricultural products could find huge market space in China and thus, Chinese experts are helping Pakistan to increase the productivity of various fruits, vegetables and crops.

Dr Abid Suleri, Executive Director, SDPI, earlier highlighted the vision behind the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) and said that the next phase of this landmark project has collaboration and cooperation in agriculture as its key component.

He said Pakistan need to learn from China on draught-resistant wheat crops and it’s an encouraging development that the hybrid seeds that are provided by China are already being tested in Pakistan.

“The Special Economic Zones under CPEC should also include ‘Food Security Zone’. The transfer of technology and investing in food value chain would help Pakistan to curtail imports and to start exporting various food items including the Hilal meat to different parts of the world," he said.

Dr Iqrar Ahmad Khan, former vice-chancellor of the University of Agriculture, Faisalabad, underpinned the importance of technological transfer from China to Pakistan and said Chinese support could play crucial role in making us an agricultural efficient country.

Shakeel Ahmed Ramay, director of the SDPI Asia Study Centre, presented an overview of the role of agriculture in Pakistan’s economy and said the sector was important not only for its contribution in GDP but also to ensure food security and employment opportunities in the country.