October 16, 2018
A delegation of the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Affairs (MARA) of China is paying an official visit to Pakistan from 13 to 18 October 2018. Six member delegation headed by Ma Aiguo, Chief Agronomist, Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Affairs (MARA) of China called on Makhdum Khusro Bakhtyar, Minister for Planning Development and Reforms, held wide ranging talks with Dr. Yusuf Zafar, Chairman, Pakistan Agricultural Research Council (PARC) and Director General, NARC, interacted with Dr. Shahid Rashid, Executive Director, Centre of Excellence for CPEC, besides having many other engagements. The delegation discussed genetically modified seeds, livestock productivity, aqua and marine culture, use of modern machinery and productivity, marketing, e-commerce, export promotion and supply chain management related issues.
Delegation visited different labs at PARC and discussed areas of mutual cooperation and agriculture development.
The China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) has already developed strong bases for mutual cooperation between both the parties in variety of fields which include “Agriculture Development and Poverty Alleviation” as one of the long-term key areas of cooperation. During these meetings it was discussed that China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) is not just the transit route but it is the “4+1” portfolio which take Pakistan on the way to prosperity and can play vital role in poverty alleviation.
Dr. Shahid Rashid, Executive Director, Centre of Excellence for CPEC said that CPEC is conclusively linked with the socio and economic development of Pakistan therefore, CPEC portfolio is focusing on the key sectors of the economy to transfer its positive effects for the improvement of the livelihood of the people of Pakistan. He added that agriculture is the most prominent in-fact lifeline of the Pakistan’s economy which accounts for 24% of GDP, employs half of the labor force and provides livelihood to 64% of country’s rural population. Being an agrarian economy, we could not sufficiently tap “Agriculture” sector to its fullest potential. There is huge potential of expansion both horizontal and vertical in terms of bringing more area under cultivation and irrigation, increase in cropping intensity, yield, and other product by the application of modern agricultural machinery, precise and green farming, improved seeds, enhancement in livestock production including meat, milk, hide and skin, horticulture and silvi culture product and food from inland and sea water with meeting international standards, value addition, branding, packing, improvement and management of cold supply chain and supply of the agri-product to both national and international markets.