Planning Minister stresses to broaden agro-cooperation with China


ISLAMABAD, Oct 15 (DNA): Minister for Planning, Development and Reform Makhdoom Khusro Bakhtyar on Monday said that mutual cooperation with China should cover the whole basket of agri-sectors.The planning minister was speaking to Vice Minister for Agriculture and Rural Affairs Ma Aiguo. Secretary Planning Zafar Hassan, Project Director China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) Hassan Daud and officials from line ministries were present on the occasion.

Bakhtyar highlighted that Pakistan’s agriculture sector employs 45% of manpower, contributes about 24% in GDP, provides livelihood to 64 % of the country’s rural population and share 20% in total exports.

He identified that Pak-China agricultural cooperation has to focus on the increase in productivity of existing crops, transfer of knowledge and technologies, seed and plant protection as well disease control, value addition and marketing of agri-products including dairy, livestock and fisheries.

He further said that there is a massive potential to develop Pakistan’s agri-sector and achieve a win-win situation.

The minister pointed out that joint ventures, value addition, cold chain management for fruits and vegetables, marketing and branding would help Pakistan to overcome the past weaknesses and increase its agri-export to China and other nations of the world.

He further stressed that both sides should work closely and identify areas of future cooperation.

The Chinese vice minister said that agricultural cooperation would set new and important direction that should focus on areas as well as the level of cooperation and finalisation of specific plans.

He further said that China is ready to share its expertise and successful agriculture models with Pakistan.

Both sides agreed to broaden agro-cooperation by adopting a comprehensive approach to fast track communication and implementation to tap potentials of the most important agriculture sector in Pakistan.