ISLAMABAD: Planning, Development and Reform Minister Makhdoom Khusro Bakhtiar said on Wednesday that the government was focused on developing the agriculture sector on modern lines in order to improve the livelihoods of small farmers and to enhance the sector’s contribution to the national economy.
“In this regard, agriculture cooperation with China will be enhanced under the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) framework,” the minister said while talking to National Food Security and Research Minister Sahibzada Mehboob Sultan.
Planning Secretary Zafar Hasan, National Food Security Secretary Dr Muhammad Hashim Popalzai and CPEC Project Director Hassan Daud were also present on the occasion.
The planning minister said efforts were underway to initiate joint ventures with leading Chinese agriculture companies so as to enhance agricultural output and value addition of agricultural products.
He highlighted that there was a lot of scope for cooperation between the two countries, particularly in areas of livestock, fisheries, citrus, mango, rice, potatoes and horticulture sectors.
Bakhtiar said that a CPEC Business Advisory Council has been constituted which would have representation from leading companies dealing in various sectors, including agriculture. The purpose of the council would be to identify new areas for future collaborations with China under CPEC, he added.
During the meeting, deliverables in different areas of agriculture for the proposed visit of the prime minister to China to participate in the second Belt and Road Forum this month came under discussion.
It was discussed that a memorandum of understanding on foot and mouth disease was also expected to be signed during the prime minister’s visit.