ISLAMABAD: Agro-industrial cooperation under China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) has been gaining momentum in recent months, Gwadar Pro reported on Saturday.
This cooperation is an important area of CPEC phase-II, under which China announced to set up eight new agricultural institutes in Pakistan.
In this connection, private sector has a major role, to be facilitated by both the governments. As agreed, in this area, the Chinese private sector will form joint ventures with Pakistani companies.
It was decided that a leading research center focusing on pest control will be in Karachi. Research will be done on insects and pests and how to protect seeds and plants from these pests.
According to the report, both countries agreed to work together to produce high-quality inputs, especially seeds, which are direly needed in Pakistan.
The quality of the seed is the foremost priority for healthy production. Therefore, to improve the seed quality, another research institute will be established from where quality seeds will be provided to the farmers. Moreover, the standards would be set to increase the production.
The CPEC Authority has also prioritized it and is working to make it operational as soon as possible.
Agriculture is one of the seven pillars of the long-term CPEC plan. It has been agreed that both countries will work on enhancing cooperation in the agriculture sector.
The authority’s sources said that China will assist Pakistan in developing an agro-industrial base, which is negligible at present.
Fatima Group and China Machinery Engineering Corporation have already signed an MoU in this regard. The cooperation will serve multiple objectives.
As Chinese firms are way ahead in terms of technology and experience, it will help build the capability of Pakistani companies, besides making way for technology transfer.
Processing of agricultural produce is another weak area where China has started providing assistance to Pakistan. It will donate a date processing plant to Balochistan in accordance with the commitment to investing in areas of southern Balochistan.
“Dates are an important food product in Balochistan but due to unsatisfactory processing facilities, the province loses a huge quantity of dates every year. Onion, mango and meat processing are other areas which will get assistance from China,” the report concluded.