“Pakistan, being a member of BRI and China’s iron brother, can immensely benefit from the cooperation in agriculture sector. Pakistan and China have already signed MoU to enhance cooperation in agriculture sector. The agreed areas of joint working under the MoU include technology transfer and collaboration in R&D, enhancing agriculture trade, cooperation in agro-industry, livestock and dairy. Every area has its own dynamics and importance for Pakistan.” Shakeel Ahmad Ramay, CEO, Asian Institute of Eco-civilization Research and Development highlighted while delivering a lecture on Understanding China for Cooperation and Opportunities for Agriculture to the faculty of University of Agriculture, Faisalabad on Sunday.
However, Pakistan is still lagging behind in the above areas. Pakistan is badly in need of investment in these sectors. “Both governments have decided to build the sector by win-win cooperation. Although, the investment and cooperation will be expanded at national level but marginalized and less developed areas will get the priority. Thus, Southern Baluchistan has been identified as priority area and different projects are in the planning phase for Southern Baluchistan.” Shakeel Ahmad Ramay explained.
It is learned that the cooperation has already been started and both governments are working to establish 8 research centers for joint research across the Pakistan through government to government cooperation. These research centers and laboratories will be equipped with state-of-the-art machinery and technology. Each research center will take care of specific research areas according to the need of Pakistan. Through this cooperation Pakistan will also benefit by the facility of technology transfer. Shakeel Ahmad Ramay believes that this measure can give a chance to Pakistan to venture in new areas of technology development at the domestic level.
Shakeel Ahmad Ramay further said that China would also offer scholarships to Pakistani students for agricultural study in China. It has also been decided that China will provide skill development opportunities through agricultural vocational training institutes in China. China is fastly reforming its agriculture sector and trade in agriculture to realize the dream of China in New Era and had also expanded its cooperation under BRI by adopting comprehensive vision of cooperation in agriculture. The vision shows that the cooperation will be built through the tools of policy dialogue, science technology, agriculture trade, agriculture investment and capacity building.
Pakistan can also benefit from the emerging food market of China. Shakeel Ahmad Ramay added that, “however, for that purpose, there is a need to expedite work on the collaboration on certification and quality standards. As to enter Chinese market, Pakistan has to meet Chinese Inspection and Quarantine (CIQ) standards first.”
Prof. Dr. Iqrar Ahmed Khan, Vice Chancellor of UAF chaired the session and Prof. Dr. Manzoor Hussain Soomro, President, ECO Science Foundation (ECOSF) also attended the lecture.