The Punjab government has proposed numerous new agriculture sector development projects to be included in the China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) Socio Economic Development Framework. Under the framework, a joint cotton research laboratory would be established in Multan at a cost of Rs 186 million to help improving the productivity of the agriculture sector by increasing cotton cultivation area and production.
It will also help in development of climate resilient cotton varieties that will ensure reliability and productivity. The project will help farmers by lowering the need to invest in insecticides and pesticides and will help alleviate poverty in rural Punjab, sources in Punjab planning department said.
Under the Socio-Economic Development Framework, China had agreed to provide Pakistan a grant of $1 billion for initiating various projects across the country especially in under developed areas.
Similarly, the government will have also an oil laboratory in Faisalabad would also be strengthened to assist research activities regarding rapeseed crop.
The project will be helpful in developing rapeseed varieties and hybrids with higher oil content and good quality edible oil. Pest warning and quality control of pesticides is another project to be located in Sahiwal, Sargodha, D G Khan and Bahawalpur to benefit farmers by increasing their livelihoods and standard of living by ensuring greater crop security through increasing epidemic resilience.
The project is also expected to complement the IPM programmes of the Agriculture Department and is in line with provincial growth strategy and will also help Punjab with its compliance of Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). The sources said that a Chinese team will due in Pakistan this month to visit all sites of the project and then will give final approval to the projects.