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China’s technology export will improve BRI countries’ agriculture: Expert

By Mariam Raheem | Gwadar Pro Nov 11, 2021

ISLAMABAD, Nov. 11 (Gwadar Pro) - "The export of China's advanced agricultural technology and service model will greatly improve the agricultural development of countries participating in 'Belt and Road Initiative' (BRI), including Pakistan. Digital agriculture and mechanized agriculture can be used as references and focuses for their future implementation," Mr. Liu Zhenlei, Dean of CP-WELLWAY Institute of Smart Agriculture told Gwadar Pro in a recent interview.

Since the outbreak of the Covid-19 pandemic, the whole world is facing the pressure of food security. For BRI countries, to improve the scientific and technological level of agriculture and the output efficiency of land is of great significance for the development of the economy and the improvement of people's living standards.

Modern agricultural machinery and technologies taking advantage of digital progress has become an imperative for Pakistan, where 84% of land is classified as arable and agriculture accounts for 26 per cent of gross domestic product (GDP), but the rural population, which represents the backbone of the agricultural sector, is comprised mainly of small-scale farmers who lack access to modern farming technologies and machinery, according to a Climate-Smart Agriculture survey in Pakistan.

Recently, the 3rd Joint Training Program on Digital Transformation for the Belt and Road countries was held by Beijing Technological and Business University (BTBU) in collaboration with Economic Cooperation Organization - Science Foundation (ECOSF). On the occasion, Mr. Liu Zhenlei introduced comprehensive solutions for upgrading digital agriculture.

Muhammad Irfan Hussain, a Pakistani PhD candidate from University of Science and Technology, Beijing who participated in the training believes that Pakistan is entering the era of digital development. Introducing Artificial Intelligence (AI), Machine learning and other new technologies can solve problems which have existed for many years. "China is a huge market of AI and China can play a vital role in introducing digital technologies into Pakistan's agricultural development."

Mr. Liu explained that, "Pakistan can refer to the digital greenhouse experience of modern agriculture that China is building, increase the output scale of its economic crops, and improve the efficiency of land use and crop output." In response to Pakistan's water shortage, he pointed out that Pakistan can promote water-saving irrigation in the whole agricultural field to meet the reasonable demand of crops with less water resources.

Under the influence of the epidemic, cross-border e-commerce has developed rapidly and become an important force in stabilizing foreign trade. "The promotion of new cross-border e-commerce sales models of agricultural products will help establish brands for excellent products from BRI countries, raise the awareness of regional brands in the world, and bring more foreign exchange earnings." Mr. Liu highlighted.

CP-WELLWAY Institute of Smart Agriculture has added surging impetus to the popularization of digital agriculture and industrial upgrading in China. Mr. Liu said that in the future, the institute would gradually export excellent products and technical services to BRI countries according to the needs of their agricultural development.

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