Agro-industrial cooperation is an important area of focus under the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) phase-II, for which China has announced the setting up of eight new agricultural institutes in Pakistan.
It will be led by the private sector and facilitated by both the governments. In this area, the Chinese private sector will form joint ventures with Pakistani companies.
A leading research centre focusing on pest control will be located in Karachi. Research will be done on insects and pests and how to protect seeds and plants from these pests.
Both countries agreed to work together to produce high-quality inputs, especially seeds, which are direly needed in Pakistan. The quality of seeds is the foremost priority for healthy production. Therefore, to improve the seed quality, another research institute will be established from where quality seeds will be provided to farmers.
Moreover, standards would be set to increase production. Agriculture is one of the seven pillars of the long-term CPEC plan. It has been agreed that both countries will work on enhancing cooperation in the agriculture sector.
China will assist Pakistan in developing an agro-industrial base, which is negligible at present. As Chinese firms are way ahead in terms of technology and experience, it will help to build the capability of Pakistani companies.
It will also build the way for technology transfer. The cooperation will help Pakistani companies to secure business due to the presence of Chinese companies in their markets.
Processing of agricultural produce is another weak area where China has started providing assistance to Pakistan.
It will donate a date processing plant to Balochistan in accordance with the commitment to investing in areas of southern Balochistan. Dates are an important food product in Balochistan but due to unsatisfactory processing facilities, every year the province loses a huge quantity of dates.
Onion, mango and meat processing are other areas which will get assistance from China. Altogether there are around 13 projects which, once established, will get the price for these products.
There are many other food items like pulses, rice, wheat, fruits, vegetables, etc which do not have proper processing plants and due to which around 40% of the food is wasted.
THIS ARTICLE ORIGINNALY APPEARED ON THE CHINA ECONOMIC NET
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