Pakistan and China Review Areas of Further Cooperation in Agriculture and Livestock

Ministry of National Food Security and Research (MNFS&R), and the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Affairs (MARA) of the People’s Republic of China jointly held the Third meeting of the China-Pakistan Joint Working Group (JWG) on Agriculture on Tuesday.

The participants of the meeting discussed and reviewed areas to further strengthen bilateral cooperation in agriculture and livestock between the two countries.

During the meeting, both sides reviewed the progress of several investment initiatives by Chinese companies. Royal Group of China has established a laboratory in Lahore to develop buffalo embryos of elite animals. The company also plans to set up a buffalo dairy farm of 8,000 heads.

Dr. Akmal Siddiq, Technical Advisor MNFS&R, while welcoming the initiative, noted that the project will significantly improve buffalo breeds and milk yield both in Pakistan and China.

Sichuan Litong Ltd. and China Machinery and Engineering Corporation have started chili contract-farming in Punjab and Sindh on 400 hectares. The company is providing local farmers technology and training to grow high-quality chilis. It has plans to expand this operation to 10,000 hectares and also establish a chili processing plant.

Dr. Waseem ul Hassan, Food Security Commissioner at MNFS&R, said that Pakistan is a net importer of chili and this initiative will help in import-substitution and genetic improvement of chili in the local climate.

These two investment initiatives, among others, are in the first batch of China-Pakistan Economic Corridor projects to boost agricultural trade and expand economic activities between the two countries.

China Animal Husbandry Industry Co., Ltd. is planning a livestock vaccine production plant in Gwadar which will produce vaccines to prevent animal diseases such as Foot and Mouth Disease. Shandong Rainbow Agriculture Polytron Technologies Inc. is planning to set up laboratories for potato seed culture and oilseed development. Zhengbang Ltd. has signed an MOU with Fauji Fertilizer Corporation to jointly establish plants to produce pesticides and cattle and poultry feed in the Allama Iqbal Special Economic Zone in Faisalabad under the said framework. Both sides appreciated and expressed satisfaction with the progress in business-to-business initiatives.

In the government-to-government cooperation framework, China will provide technical assistance to establish the Centre for Sustainable Management of Plant Pests and Diseases in Karachi. Chinese Academy of Agricultural Sciences will strengthen technological cooperation with its Pakistani counterparts to enhance the capacity to prevent and control pests and diseases. China will also help Pakistan in capacity-building for cotton-seed technology. Both countries will soon sign an MOU on Strengthening Cooperation on Animal Disease Control. Scientists from both countries will jointly work to enhance the prevention and control of pests and diseases. Both sides agreed to promote the transfer of technology and strengthen the capacity of the concerned institutions in Pakistan.

Syed Khalid Gardezi, Additional Secretary MNFS&R, said that the Joint Working Group is an effective platform for cooperation and trade between Pakistan and China, through which both countries can collaborate in capacity-building, infrastructure development, and transfer of technology.

NI Hongxing, who led the Chinese delegation, said that China looks forward to further strengthening its partnership with Pakistan in agriculture. He hoped that by the next Joint Working Group meeting, in the second half of 2023, meaningful progress will be achieved to expand agricultural trade and deepen scientific ties between the two countries.

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