LAHORE: The Pak-China Economic Corridor will open up new avenues of cooperation in the agriculture sector as it would pave the way for the transfer of technology pertaining to agrochemicals, pesticides, fertilisers and seeds.
This was the upshot of speeches delivered at the opening ceremony of the first China Agro Chemical (CAC) Pakistan Summit jointly organised by the Lahore Chamber of Commerce and Industry (LCCI) and CCPIT Sub Council for Chemical Industry.
There was a consensus among all speakers that the Pak-China Hybrid Wheat Industrialisation Cooperation Agreement would help develop Pakistan’s agriculture sector through new seed variety. “The CAC Summit and Exhibition is a unique opportunity for Pakistan’s agriculturists as it would enable them to learn about the Chinese expertise in the agriculture sector,” said Punjab Minister for Agriculture Dr Farrukh Javed. “Chinese cooperation in all fields of the economy is matchless. We are striving to educate the farming community as research would be useless if it does not reach the real farmer.”
He said the Punjab government was taking every possible step to strengthen the agriculture sector and that was evident after it announced a flat rate of Rs10.35 per unit for tubewells. A subsidy of Rs14 billion for the agriculture sector would be disbursed after consulting the stakeholders so that the benefit reaches the right quarters.
LCCI President Engineer Sohail Lashari stressed the need for public-private dialogue as a prerequisite to revolutionising the agriculture sector. He said that it was the only area where a little attention could achieve a miracle and it did not need a huge amount of electricity.
“Pakistan is the only country in South Asia to have a CAC exhibition and it will strengthen its agriculture sector. The government will have to strengthen the institutional framework to provide support to this sector,” he said.
He also called for construction of water reservoirs as its shortage could pose a threat.
Vice Chairman CCPIT Sub-Council for Chemical Industry Ma Chunyan said the trade of pesticide has an important role in the total two-way business of $12 billion. “In 2013, pesticides amounting to $172 million were imported from China while fertilizer imports remained at $309 million.”
She said that Chinese cooperation with Pakistani agriculturists would write new success stories.
Published in The Express Tribune, August 6th, 2014.
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