3000 acres ready for chilli cultivation under Pakistan-China cooperation: CPEC Authority chief

 3000 acres ready for chilli cultivation under Pakistan-China cooperation: CPEC Authority chief

ISLAMABAD, June 21: China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) Authority chief Lt. General Asim Saleem Bajwa (retd) said on Sunday afternoon that the pilot project of Chilli Farm with100 acres had been completed and in the next phase, around 3000 acres of land would be brought under chili cultivation.

“Pilot project of Chilli Farm with100 acres is completed,” he said in his tweet, adding that in the next phase, as many as 3000 acres of land would be brought under chili cultivation. The Pakistan-China Condiment alliance had been formed with the Chinese partners CMEC and Sichuan Litong Food Group,” he said in a tweet.

Earlier, Pakistan announced the inauguration of Pakistan China Condiments Industry Alliance. Federal Minister for National Food Security and Research Syed Fakhar Imam announced the inauguration on Saturday afternoon stressing that the chilli farming project under the Alliance will enhance its production in the country. He said the Pakistan China Condiments Industry Alliance will promote bilateral cooperation in the field.

To accelerate the promotion of the project, a webinar was organized by the China-Pakistan and Industrial Cooperation Platform and Syed Fakhar Imam, Federal Minister for National Food Security and Research participated as a guest speaker.

An official statement said that under the guidance of the Chinese Embassy in Pakistan, the first China-Pakistan Agricultural and Industrial Cooperation Information Platform was officially launched in January 2020.

The platform has actively played the role as a communication channel to boost bilateral cooperation and exchanges in agriculture. In the joint efforts of the China Embassy in Pakistan, Ministry of National Food Security and Research, CPEC Authority, China-Pakistan Agricultural Cooperation and Exchange Centre and the agriculture related companies from both countries, the chilli contract farming project has been launched.

The Minister said that cooperation between Pakistan and China in agriculture will give a boost to the sector. China has advanced in the agriculture sector and Pakistan can learn from China by adopting their farming techniques.

Chinese Ambassador to Pakistan, Nong Rong said that Chinese companies have planted about 100 acres of chilli crop in Punjab province through cooperation of their Pakistani partners and it is being planned to expand this area in the next few years and set up a chilli processing factory in the future to improve the livelihood of the local farmers, and raise production of chillies for local production and export.

CPEC Authority chief Asim Saleem Bajwa said the project would also help boost exports of spices from the country. He said this project would enhance yield, improve seed quality, skill development, farm labour, and processing.

Official media said chili farming is expected to produce more than 8,000 tons of dried chilies with a net income of more thanRs.100,000 per acre for local farmers. It will further develop downstream deep processing industries and create more employment.

The government said in the first phase of the Chili Contract Farming Project, China-Pakistan Agricultural Cooperation Pilot Zone is to be set up in five years, while in its Phase II, it is expected to grow 30,000 acres of chilli and build pigment extracting plants, with an industrial output value of US $ 200 million.

While in the third phase, a China-Pakistan food industrial park would be established in 5 to 10 years, to promote the condiment industry in both countries.

Staff reporter