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Pakistan must benefit from China’s achievements in agri sector says envoy

Pakistan Must Benefit from China’s Achievements in Agriculture Sector: Envoy

ISLAMABAD – Pakistan can make the most of China’s past achievements in its future agricultural development programs to address weaknesses and develop the agricultural sector, Pakistan’s Ambassador to China, Moin ul Haque, said Thursday.
“I believe Pakistan can make the most of China’s past achievements in its future agricultural development programs to address our weaknesses and consolidate our strength in the agricultural sector,” he said in his speech opening during a webinar on Sino-Pakistani agricultural cooperation and prospects organized by China Economic Net (CEN).
Describing the relations between Pakistan and China as very close and strong, he said that the range of bilateral relations between the two countries is very wide, deep and wide.
As part of President Xi Jinping’s Belt and Road Initiative, the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) has become the flagship high-quality and demonstration project, helping Pakistan to modernize its infrastructure, transportation network and communication in the energy sector. Today, in recent years, agriculture has been identified as the sector to be given special attention, he said.
Ambassador Haque said that under phase II of the CPEC, agricultural cooperation is included within the framework of the socio-economic development strategy.
He said, a special working group on agriculture was established in March this year and an action plan was discussed between the Pakistani Ministry of National Food Security and Research and the Chinese Ministry of agriculture and rural affairs, which is implementing a large number of joint projects.
Pakistan, he said, has a strong agricultural base which contributes over 80 percent of our GDP and employs over 30 percent of our workforce. Pakistan is a leading country in the production of wheat, cotton, rice, sugar cane, lentils and mangoes, and milk. In fact, we are the fourth largest producer of milk. We also have a vibrant livestock sector and we are among the leaders in meat and poultry production, he added.
At the recent meeting held in Hainan in August between our foreign ministers, agricultural cooperation was discussed in depth.
He said that cooperation was highlighted in areas such as producing quality seeds, improving the productivity of various crops, strengthening the agro-food industry to bring more added value, manufacturing of pesticides and the establishment of cold chain networks. We also discussed capacity building, technology transfer and the establishment of research institutes, he added.
Ambassador Haque informed in September that Foreign Minister, Shah Mahmood Qureshi, also held an exclusive meeting with the Chinese Ambassador in Islamabad to discuss cooperation in the field of agriculture.
He expressed confidence pointed out that through mutual collaboration, sharing of experiences and constant efforts, our two countries can strengthen cooperation in the agricultural sector and contribute to the prosperity of our two peoples.
He also thanked the Chinese government and its Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Affairs for its support to Pakistan in the fight against the locust plague which recently hit parts of Pakistan. The Chinese government has sent a delegation of experts and also provided specialized drones to combat this threat, he added.
Ambassador Haque pointed out that China is also helping Pakistan to set up a disease and pest control center in Karachi and that a memorandum of understanding was signed during the solidarity visit of President Arif Alivi in China in March of this year.
Recognizing China’s unprecedented success in alleviating poverty, he said, lifting more than 700 million people out of poverty has been a miracle of late. He said helping communities improve their livelihoods by developing local agricultural products and improving planning and branding has been an important part of China’s poverty reduction strategy.
He further added that Pakistan would like to learn from the Chinese experience as it is important for its own quest to reduce poverty. Ambassador Haque expressed his sincere gratitude to CEN and its Chairman for their valuable support in strengthening economic and trade relations between China and the Pak
(Sahar News Monitoring Desk)

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