Pakistan has sought technical and financial assistance from the European Union (EU) to develop the livestock sector through technology, said a statement released after a meeting between the Minister for Food Security Fakhar Imam and EU Ambassador Androulla Kaminara.
EU can support the meat industry by allowing the import of other meat and chicken products. “EU is the main buyer of sheep casing from Pakistan. EU can help Pakistan to increase agriculture production and increase export of regulated goods,” the statement added.
The EU may provide technical and financial assistance in the livestock sector of Pakistan like risk-based foot and mouth disease control, virtual-based disease information and surveillance system and establishing foot and mouth disease-free zones.
Pakistan and the EU signed a strategic engagement plan last year for the transfer of technology. Pakistan exports rice, mango, vegetables, spices and tobacco to the EU states. However, the current level of bilateral trade between Pakistan and EU countries does not fully reflect the potential of agro-products, which may need to be enhanced further. Pakistan imports chickpeas, instant gum, potato seeds and other foodstuff from the EU.
The minister said cotton is one of the major crops of the country and Pakistan needs a breakthrough in the cotton sector. The interest was expressed in developing a niche market for floriculture in Pakistan much like the Netherlands.
The ambassador asked that Pakistan develops fisheries sector as there is a lot of potential for fish exports. Cotton is very much linked with the generalized system of preferences plus status that allows tariff incentives to Pakistani exports to the 27-member countries bloc.
The minister also apprised the envoy about the outbreak of desert locust that had now brought completely under control in the country and the assistance being provided by Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) for anti-locust operations.
It was also discussed in the meeting that the ministry of food security is implementing partner of Balochistan rural development and a five-year community empowerment program, which includes improvement in livestock production.