‘Pakistan agricultural exports to China to cross $1b mark soon’
ISLAMABAD, June 17 (Gwadar Pro) - Pakistan’s agricultural exports to China will soon grow beyond US$ 1 billion per annum, said Dr Gu Wenliang, Agricultural Counsellor at the Embassy of the People’s Republic of China in Islamabad.
Speaking at a seminar in Rawalpindi regarding China-Pakistan agricultural cooperation under CPEC on Thursday, Dr Gu said that China offered a huge and lucrative market for Pakistani agricultural goods including rice, cherries, dry chillies, onions, mangoes and pine nuts. Pakistani cherries and pine nuts can be sold in China at much higher rates than in Pakistan, he said.
The Agricultural Counsellor said that China and Pakistan had made several achievements in agricultural cooperation under the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) initiative. He mentioned several success stories including the chilli contract farming in Sindh and Punjab, which he said had now exceeded an area of more than 500 acres. Chinese firms will set up an industry to extract precious chemicals from chillies after the contract farming reaches the desired level. Presently, the dry chillies produced through contract farming are being exported to China, he said.
Dr Gu also talked about the introduction of embryos of Pakistani buffaloes to China and a facility set up for the purpose in Lahore by China’s Royal Group. The China Overseas Ports Holding Co. (COPHC) has also established a tissue culture lab in Gwadar where new varieties of banana and other fruits have been developed, he said.
Former Chairman of Pakistan Agricultural Research Council Dr Yousuf said that China’s cooperation with Pakistan in the agricultural field had always been tremendous. As many as 28,000 Pakistani researchers were being trained in China before the Covid 19 pandemic, as 40% of all international scholarships offered by China went to Pakistani students and researchers. Also, Pakistan recently achieved a historic yield of rice (9.3 million tonnes) due to the Chinese hybrid seed, he disclosed.
Dr Gu said that being the backbone of Pakistan’s economy, China's assistance in the agriculture sector will benefit the entire population of the country.