A rosy future for Pak-China floriculture collaboration
FAISALABAD, May 12 (Gwadar Pro)- “There is a huge potential for cooperation between China and Pakistan in the rose industry,” highlighted Naeem Iqbal Cheema, Political Counsellor at Embassy of Pakistan, Beijing at the 2023 Rose products Expo held last week in Pingyin county, China.
At the opening ceremony of the expo, the “Belt and Road Initiative” rose industry consortium was officially established. Wang Zihai, Honorable Investment Counsellor of Pakistan, was invited as a global partner of Pingyin Rose. Pakistan is one of the world’s high-quality rose producing areas, he underlined that “we expect this consortium to serve as a carrier to further promote the bilateral and multilateral economic, trade, cultural and personnel exchanges between the two countries.”
Wang added that productive clusters of Pakistani roses have been established along the Belt and Road, which is encouraging to lower costs. Taking the Pattoki rose cluster for example, the gross revenues before flower cluster development are estimated to $24.21 million per year. Cluster development investments are expected to generate revenues from the 2nd year of the program resulting in an additional gross revenues of $2.96 million in the 2nd year and $13.25 million in the 5th year, according to Cluster Development Based Agriculture Transformation Plan Vision-2025.
Fresh Pakistani rose petals are normally used for ceremonial and decorative purposes, while dried petals and potted plants are mainly exported to Gulf countries. The presentation of value-added products such as Pakistani rose essential oil, rose water extract, rose jam and rose application in the herbal and cosmetic industries will further expand the visibility of Pakistan rose among Chinese stakeholders.
The comparable advantages of rose cultivation in Pakistan include different agricultural climatic zones that are best suited to various roses, high-yield and heat-tolerant varieties, and cheaper human resources. The total area under roses in Pakistan is 9,480 acres with an annual production of 42,660 tonnes, shared by Dr. Iftikhar Ahmad, Associate Professor of the University of Agriculture, Faisalabad (UAF) in a recent interview with Gwadar Pro.
Pinpointing that there are numerous possible collaboration opportunities in rose industry between China and Pakistan, Prof. Dr. Iqrar Ahmad Khan, Vice Chancellor of UAF stated that both sides could deepen exchanging rose germplasm and evaluation of Chinese commercial rose species in Pakistan, breeding for extending blooming period of Rosa damascena and enhancing essential oil yield and quality of Rosa centifolia UAF. “Evaluation of Chinese rose rootstock for hybrid rose publicity, certification of Rosa centifolia ‘UAF’ value-added products, contract farming with Chinese stakeholders for production of dried rose buds and petals for export to Chinese markets are also feasible avenues,” added him.
Pakistan is a country of small farming households with a long history and rich experience in floriculture. Dr. Iqrar concluded that Pakistan’s floriculture exports could be enhanced by targetting global markets through BRI.