ISLAMABAD: US Ambassador to Pakistan Paul Jones on Monday met with National Food Security & Research Minister Sahibzada Muhammad Mehboob Sultan to discuss ways to enhance agricultural cooperation.
The meeting was held in the backdrop of Prime Minister Imran Khan’s forthcoming visit to USA, scheduled to take place in the second half of this month.
The federal minister said that the incumbent government, under the leadership of Prime Minister Imran Khan, was striving hard to strengthen the agriculture sector.
“The government has identified a few areas to be developed on priority. We are focusing on agricultural mechanisation, augmentation of cotton yield, development of oilseed and decrease in the import bill.”
The minister said that in the next four years, the federal government would enhance agricultural cooperation with friendly countries, preferably the USA.
The US envoy on the occasion said that his country was well aware that Pakistan was an important agricultural country, adding that exchange of technologies in the agriculture sector, through value addition and public-private partnership, would be welcomed.
The federal minister and the US envoy agreed that the prime minister’s forthcoming visit to the US would be very important in highlighting the preferred areas of cooperation, especially in the field of agriculture.
The minister stressed the need to enhance the export of Pakistani mangoes (exported to almost 48 countries across the globe) to the US, adding that “Pakistan mango meets all the international standards and are exported after the vapour treatment”.
The minister further stated that date was another item from Pakistan that may also be granted market access in the USA.
The US ambassador said that Pakistan could import meat from the US, to which federal minister said that a mechanism in this regard could be chalked out after mutual consultation.
The minister expressed his desire that both countries must explore venues for mutual cooperation, given that the prime minister’s Agriculture Emergency Programme has already started.