New development in China-Pakistan agri-cooperation

 New development in China-Pakistan agri-cooperation

Pakistan and China signed a regulatory agreement for the export of onion from Pakistan to China. This protocol has been signed by Pakistan’s Federal Minister for National Food Security and Research Syed Fakhar Imam and Nong Rong, Ambassador People’s Republic of China to Pakistan. This regulatory framework will pave the way for the future cooperation between Pakistan and China especially on the trade for all kinds of agriculture goods from Pakistan.

Pakistan being the sixth largest producer of the onions across the globe, will certainly receive this much needed booster.  Apart from onions, through CPEC, China and Pakistan are collaborating for building Pakistan’s capacity for producing high-quality potatoes, chilies, beef and mutton processing and production.

The Protocol of Inspection and Quarantine Requirements for the export of onion from Pakistan to China is an important step towards helping Pakistan’s onion crops not only reach Chinese markets but receive necessary technical knowledge about maintaining international standards for exports.

It’s heartening to note that even during the COVID-19 pandemic, agriculture trade volume has remained at the high end level. According to an estimate, it was nearly $770 million. While since January till September the trade volume related to agriculture has reached a record height. According to one estimate that the exports from Pakistan to China was $630 million while an overall two-fold increase from last year with $860 million trade was made possible.

China is a huge lucrative market for Pakistani products but at the same time it is a high end and sophisticated market. This protocol will build the farmers confidence and others who are involved in the agri-based supply chain in Pakistan for the new opening. Since Pakistan is an agri based economy having agriculture sector with untapped potential where modern agriculture practices can be used. Large areas of land with possible cultivations of different varieties of crops can help boost bilateral and multilateral trade through China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) and BRI.

CPEChas entered into its important second phase of high end development progress, where the focus is on agricultural cooperation, among others.The second phase is building on theoutstandingbounties offered by the completed projects in diverse sectors boosting the workin second phase.This phase will help nearly 70 percent of thefarmers and their householdslargely receive the support especially with quality of machines, pesticides, modern agriculture techniques, water management, technique for storage and post-harvest transport to the regional and global markets.

Two way collaboration can be expanded to agricultural product and processing, agricultural science and technology advancements, joint learning on agri based corporate farming. Both countries are complimenting each other through the great potential and forward looking cooperation in agriculture. There is also several trainings offered by various Chinese leading research and agriculture related companies and institutions for Pakistani side related to diverse subjects hence helping not only plantation but also building food process, cold chain storage and various other sectors.

Chinese experts have also supported Pakistan in the fight against the deadly locust attacks last year. China sent a team of technical experts to develop strategies to control the attacks. Locusts have caused havoc in Pakistan, devastated the cotton crop and threatened the wheat crop. However due to the timely assistance from the Chinese side especially through the effective management and pesticides, Pakistan was able to thwart this deadly attack. The attack was so dangerous that the government of Pakistan has to impose a state of national emergency against the attack.

Earlier in October this year,  the two countries agreed to sign two MoUs to enhance export of onion to China and to introduce revolutionary Chinese Juncao technology. This is another step towards building closer cooperation on bringing forth technology driven growth in agriculture. This technology has been used to chop grass as forage for cattle’s and as a substrate to grow mushrooms. As a unique way of Chinese agricultural innovation, that will boost the circular production involving mushrooms, plants and animals. This technique helps generate income in a short span of time.

CPEC is not only a game changer but a life changer for farmers and the agricultural sector for Pakistan. From providing effective mechanisms of transportation to energy and from technology to technical support, China has stood by Pakistan in all areas to share knowledge and practice for a shared destiny and a common future for all.

News Desk