The development of Pakistan’s agro economy is reasonable but it could have been even better, primarily through incorporation of research and transfer of technology, said Minister for National Food Security and Research Fakhar Imam.
In a meeting with European Union Ambassador Androulla Kaminara on Tuesday, the minister briefed the envoy about major crops of the country. “Desert locust is now completely under control in the country,” he told the envoy.
The Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) assisted Pakistan immensely in anti-locust operations, he said. The minister appreciated EU’s agricultural policy that benefitted farmers to a scale that could be called exemplary.
He highlighted that Pakistan was focusing on developing the phyto-sanitary system, adding that fruits and vegetables worth $700 million were exported by Pakistan.
“Pakistan has a large livestock population but foot and mouth disease has handicapped the country,” he said. “A facility is being set up in Bahawalpur for developing a vaccine for this disease.”
He added that cotton was one of the major crops of the country and Pakistan needed a breakthrough in the sector.
He admired floriculture of the Netherlands and expressed interest in developing a niche market for floriculture in Pakistan. Speaking on the occasion, Kaminara spoke about the Balochistan Rural Development and Community Empowerment (BRACE) project and said the food ministry was an implementing partner in the programme. “This is a five-year plan which also includes improvement in production of livestock,” she said. The envoy added that cotton was linked with the GSP Plus status for Pakistan.
Published in The Express Tribune, October 14th, 2020.
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