ISLAMABAD – Vice Minister for Agriculture and Rural Affairs of China MA Aiguo Monday called on Minister for Planning, Development and Reforms (PD&R) Makhdum Khusro Bakhtyar.
Makhdum Khusro Bakhtyar said that Pakistan’s agriculture sector employed 45% of manpower, contributed about 24 % in GDP, provided livelihood to 64% of the country’s rural population and shared 20% in total exports. The minister said that Pak-China agricultural cooperation had to focus on the vertical increase in productivity of existing crops, transfer of knowledge and technologies, seed and plant protection as well disease control, value addition and marketing of agri-products including dairy, livestock, and fisheries.
He pointed out that joint ventures, value addition, cold chain management for fruits and vegetables, marketing and branding would help Pakistan to overcome the past weaknesses and increase its agri export to China and other nations of the world.
The minister said that both sides should work closely and identify areas of future cooperation. MA Aiguo said that agricultural cooperation would set new and important direction that should focus on areas as well as the level of cooperation and finalization of specific plans.
He further said that China was ready to share its expertise and successful agriculture models with Pakistan. Both the sides agreed to broaden agro-cooperation by adopting a comprehensive approach to fast track communication and implementation to tap potentials of the most important agriculture sector in Pakistan.
Secretary Planning, Zafar Hassan, Project Director CPEC, Hassan Daud and officials from ministries were present on the occasion.