Pakistan likely to save up to $ 7.6 billion annually under CPEC
ISLAMABAD, Sept. 25 (Gwadar Pro) - Pakistan is likely to save up to $ 7.6 billion annually by boosting agriculture production with China’s help under the second phase of the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC), Federal Minister of National Food Security and Research Syed Fakhar Imam said on Friday afternoon.
Addressing the United Nations – States Food Systems Pre – Summit 2021, the Federal Minister pointed out that Pakistan was facing food and nutritional insecurity challenges for its population of above 215 million.
“It is costing us $ 7.6 billion annually or 3% of our national GDP (Gross Domestic Product). Pakistani agriculture sector's share in national GDP is 19.2% which is a lifeline of national economy from many perspectives,” he added.
Imam mentioned that Pakistan was blessed with diversified climate making 10 highly diversified agro-ecologies available. “The country has 23 million hactres of cultivable land, 1,000 km of costal line with 3 big dams and more than 100 small dams. All this signifies that system-based approach is more appropriate for us,” he maintained.
Fakhar Imam reaffirmed that Pakistan intends to enhance diversified food production in all agro-ecologies, minimizing post-harvest losses and promoting kitchen gardening and promoting value chains with the government’s own efforts and support from China under CPEC. “Furthermore, Pakistan also wants to promote organic farming, cultivation of green manure crops, use of resource conservation technologies, build the capacity of all stakeholders and the SMEs (Small and Medium Enterprises) and also focus on building resilience through devising innovative site-specific technologies,” he remarked.
The minister stated that the underlying intension was to shift our consumers from staple cereals dominated diets to sustainable diversified and healthy consumption patterns.”
The minister informed that the government of Pakistan had set-up the Agriculture Innovation Fund.