Agriculture cooperation

March 14, 2021

Beijing aims to facilitate Islamabad in boosting the agriculture-sector

Pakistan and China are set to enter a long-term plan to enhance cooperation in agriculture. The plan 2020-2030 includes providing Pakistan skills and techniques to enhance per acre yields, develop and upgrade agricultural infrastructure. It also aims to develop water-saving modern agricultural zones, and invest in training, research and controlling crop diseases.

This cooperation is not only within the China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) fold but also beyond it. Beijing aims to facilitate Islamabad in boosting its agriculture-sector. China is also helping Pakistan in increasing its exports of cherry, onions, potato and other agricultural products to China. The country aims to help Pakistan with advanced biological breeding technology for cotton, high-quality cottonseed production technology, high-yield and efficient cultivation, along with management techniques for cotton.

Dr Gu Wenliang, the Agriculture Commissioner from China in Islamabad tells TNS, “China is committed to supporting Pakistan for revitalising its agriculture, livestock, dairy, fisheries and food processing sectors to attain sustainable growth and meet the challenge of poverty alleviation”. He added that “there has been lot of progress in developing Pakistan-China agriculture relations in the recent years because it very important to develop linkages for the greater benefit of majority of Pakistani people and we hope it is going to be a long-term cooperation.” Dr Wenliang is the first agriculture commissioner/diplomat appointed in Pakistan, a development that shows importance of this area for mutual cooperation.

Pakistan and China, in the past two years have signed four Memorandums of Understanding (MoUs) for cooperation in the agriculture sector and to enhance the scope and framework of this cooperation. One of the MoUs is about strengthening plant disease and insect pest control. China, Dr Wenliang recalls, has also extended a lot of help to Pakistan in dealing with the locust swarms including providing up-to-date technology and sprayers. China has spent around $8 million in this area to help Pakistan control locust. China sent 50,000 liters of pesticide and 12 spray machines.

Beijing is also providing help and extending cooperation in food processing, institution building, conducting research, developing laboratories and providing training. This cooperation, Dr Wenliang says, is at government as well as private level. There are also efforts under way to develop a bog buffalo and cotton farms and preparing better quality hybrid rice with mutual cooperation. China has approved protocols for the export of Pakistani rice, citrus and mangos. Efforts are under way for approval of protocols for seafood, dry-fruit, onions, cherry, potato, fresh meat and dairy products.

Separately, under the umbrella of the CPEC, Pakistan and China have signed several agreements for cooperation in the agricultural sector. Some of the planned agricultural projects under CPEC are aimed at improving the irrigation system across Pakistan. Reports suggest irrigation, fishing, corporate, and joint farming are some key areas of planned cooperation under CPEC’s agricultural outreach programme.

The writer is a staff reporter. He can be reached at

Agriculture cooperation