Australia to provide agri-training

Trade official says technology transfer can accelerate Pakistan’s agro-economy


Our Correspondent November 16, 2021
PHOTO: AGENCIES

KARACHI:

Upgrading technology and human resources is the key to revolutionising the agriculture sector and Australia will provide technical and agricultural training to Pakistan to uplift the quality of human resources, said Australian Trade Commissioner to Pakistan John Cavanaghon.

Talking to Federal Minister for National Food Security and Research Syed Fakhar Imam on Monday, the trade commissioner said that transfer of agro-technology between the two countries through private sector coordination could accelerate the agro-economy of Pakistan.

He agreed to help enhance agricultural research through the provision of quality human resources to research institutes of the country. Welcoming the trade commissioner, Imam stressed that Pakistan and Australia should strengthen their relationship with regard to agro-economy, especially through the improvement of bilateral trade and transfer of agro-technology. “Pakistan’s exports to Australia have shown little increase in recent years and if due attention is given to this area, the quantum of exports can jump,” he said.

“Trade between the two countries can achieve new heights if Pakistan enhances export of fruits, vegetables and rice to Australia.” Imam added that shipments of mangoes and citrus fruit from Pakistan to Australia were limited due to strict regulations of the National Plant Protection Organisation of Australia.

Citing figures, the minister said that the volumetric export of mangoes to Australia had increased from 2 tons in 2013 to 75 tons in 2021, however, he noted that the number could increase manifold. “Export of citrus fruit rose from 350,000 tons to approximately 460,000 tons in just one year,” he said.

“Moreover, the export of mangoes surged from 110,000 tons to 142,000 tons in the same time period.” Pakistan has huge export potential for vegetables and fruits such as mangoes, citrus, apples and cherries, he said.

Prime Minister Imran Khan has prioritised the development of technological, construction and agriculture sectors, the minister said. He was of the view that technological exchanges between Australia and Pakistan could give a push to the agriculture sector of Pakistan. He underlined the need to import agro-technology and upgrade human resources in the agriculture sector.

With respect to citrus fruits, the two sides agreed to work together in eradicating the citrus canker disease to increase their export to Australia from Pakistan. Both officials agreed to review and work towards easement of the regulations. The meeting was also attended by the senior officials of the ministry.

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