Ministry of National Food Security and Research (MNFS&R), and the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Affairs (MARA) of the People’s Republic of China jointly held the Third meeting of the China-Pakistan Joint Working Group (JWG) on Agriculture.
The participants of the meeting discussed and reviewed areas to further strengthen bilateral cooperation in agriculture and livestock between the two countries.
During the meeting, both sides reviewed the progress of several investment initiatives by Chinese companies. Royal Group of China has established a laboratory in Lahore to develop buffalo embryos of elite animals. The company also plans to set up a buffalo dairy farm of 8,000 heads.
Dr. Akmal Siddiq, Technical Advisor MNFS&R, while welcoming the initiative, noted that the project will significantly improve buffalo breeds and milk yield both in Pakistan and China.
Sichuan Litong Ltd. and China Machinery and Engineering Corporation have started chili contract-farming in Punjab and Sindh on 400 hectares.
The company is providing local farmers technology and training to grow high-quality chilis. It has plans to expand this operation to 10,000 hectares and also establish a chili processing plant.
Dr. Waseem ul Hassan, Food Security Commissioner at MNFS&R, said that Pakistan is a net importer of chili and this initiative will help in import-substitution and genetic improvement of chili in the local climate.
These two investment initiatives, among others, are in the first batch of China-Pakistan Economic Corridor projects to boost agricultural trade and expand economic activities between the two countries.
NI Hongxing, who led the Chinese delegation, said that China looks forward to further strengthening its partnership with Pakistan in agriculture.
He hoped that by the next Joint Working Group meeting, in the second half of 2023, meaningful progress will be achieved to expand agricultural trade and deepen scientific ties between the two countries.
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