The Government of Punjab has proposed several new agricultural sector development projects for the China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) Socio-Economic Development Framework.
Under the framework, a joint cotton research laboratory would be established in Multan, at a cost of Rs. 186 million, to help improve the productivity of the agriculture sector by increasing cotton cultivation area and production.
It will also help in the development of climate-resilient cotton varieties that will ensure reliability and productivity.
The project will help farmers by lowering the need to invest in insecticides and pesticides and will help alleviate poverty in rural Punjab, sources in Punjab Planning Department said.
Pest warning and quality control of pesticides is another project to be located in Sahiwal, Sargodha, D.G. Khan, and Bahawalpur. It will benefit farmers by increasing their livelihoods and standard of living by ensuring greater crop security through increasing epidemic resilience.
The project is expected to complement the IPM programs of the Agriculture Department, is in line with provincial growth strategy and will also help Punjab with its compliance of Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
Under the Socio-Economic Development Framework, China had agreed to provide Pakistan with a grant of $1 billion for initiating various projects across the country, especially in under-developed areas.
Similarly, the government will also establish an oil laboratory in Faisalabad to strengthen and assist in research activities regarding rapeseed crops. The project will be helpful in developing rapeseed varieties and hybrids with higher oil content and good quality edible oil.
According to the sources, a Chinese team is due to arrive in Pakistan this month to visit all project sites and give final approval to the projects.