ISLAMABAD: Pakistan on Tuesday signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with China for exporting onions to China, a move that will facilitate the export of the horticulture product to other neighboring countries.
The protocol for inspection and quarantine requirements for export of onion from Pakistan to China between the Department of Plant Protection (DPP) and General Administration of Customs China (GACC) was signed by Minister for National Food Security and Research Syed Fakhr Imam and Chinese Ambassador Nong Rong in Islamabad.
The two sides reaffirmed that such initiatives would further strengthen relations between the two countries. Such trade-related memorandums of understanding would bring the people of the two countries even closer to each other, a statement said at the end of the ceremony.
During the event, Fakhar Imam said that the agricultural sector is indispensable to the country’s economic growth, food security, employment generation and poverty alleviation particularly for the rural population.
The minister said that the present government has been giving high priority to the growth of the agriculture sector on a sustainable basis and is implementing the most appropriate policies to achieve the desired outcomes.
Pakistan, with around 138 thousand ha and 1.8 million tons of onion production, stands at 6th and 9th position respectively in terms of onion area and production. Moreover, Pakistan contributes 2.1 per cent in world onion area and 1.9pc in its world production.
The minister stated that Pakistan has been exporting rice, mango and citrus to China after complying with phytosanitary import requirements of China. The instant Protocol would also create awareness about quarantine and phytosanitary compliance among Pakistan onion producers.
Nong Rong anticipated that the Protocol would open new ways for more Pakistani products to reach Chinese markets. He further said that China and Pakistan are complementary to each other. “China is already supporting Pakistan in foot and mouth disease control, chili, potato, beef and mutton production while CPEC would further result in cementing these trade ties,” he added.
It may be mentioned here that work on development quarantine and Phytosanitary procedures for export of Pakistani onions to China was initiated by Department of Plant Protection (DPP), Ministry of National Food Security & Research (MNFSR) was initiated during January, 2019. The National Plant Protection Organisations of both the countries conducted Pest Risk Analysis (PRA) and the technical negotiations resulted in the form of Protocol during April 2021.
Under the protocol, the DPP will conduct pest surveys and implement internationally recognised and integrated pest management practices during the growing season of onion to ensure pest-free export of the produce to China.
Moreover, processing companies that intend to export onions from Pakistan to China shall be registered and recommended by DPP after approval through audit for further registration with GACC.