Agricultural sector is vital for the country’s economic growth, food security, employment generation and poverty alleviation, particularly for the rural population, said Minister of National Food Security and Research Fakhar Imam.
Speaking during the signing ceremony of the protocol for onion export from Pakistan to China at the Ministry of National Food Security and Research (MNFSR) on Tuesday, he stated that the present government prioritised the growth of agriculture sector on sustainable basis.
The deal was signed by Imam and the Ambassador of China Nong Rong.
Imam added that appropriate policies were being implemented to achieve the desired outcomes.
Pakistan, with 138,000 hectares of area under onion cultivation and an output of 1.8 million tons, ranks sixth and ninth in terms of onion area and production, respectively, he said. Moreover, Pakistan contributed 1.9% in world’s onion production, stressed Imam.
The minister stated that Pakistan was exporting rice, mango and citrus to China after complying with phytosanitary import requirements of Beijing.
The instant protocol would also create awareness about quarantine and phytosanitary compliance among Pakistan’s onion producers.
Chinese Ambassador Nong Rong hoped that the protocol would open new gates for Pakistani products to reach Chinese markets.
“China and Pakistan are complementary to each other,” he said. “China is already supporting Pakistan in foot and mouth disease control, chili, potato, beef and mutton production.”
The CPEC would further strengthen trade ties, he said.
It was reaffirmed that initiatives such as the protocol for onion export from Pakistan to China would further strengthen ties between the two countries.
Published in The Express Tribune, November 24th, 2021.
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