Pakistan's Federal Minister of the Ministry of National Food Security and Research, Sahibzada Muhammad Mehboob Sultan, said on Wednesday that joint ventures and B2B cooperation between Pakistan and China in agriculture will help Pakistan to generate more revenue from the sector that needs urgent support to meet world standards, reports Trend referring to Xinhuanet.com.
In a conversation with Xinhua at the Pakistan-China Agricultural Cooperation Forum here on Wednesday, Sultan said that agriculture plays a key role in Pakistan's economy as 39 percent of the country's labor force is directly employed in it, and it contributes 19 percent to the GDP of the country, but it has a great potential to generate more money so the current government is attaching great importance to this sector.
"Pakistan has a great problem of low production agriculture sector. Its per-acre yield and milk and meat production from animals is much lower than world standards. We believe that the joint ventures between Pakistan and China will bring Chinese researchers, agriculture experts and business community to Pakistan and when they form cooperation with local businessmen, our agriculture sector will get a boost."
The federal minister said that besides low production, Pakistan is also facing a challenge of preservation and value-addition of agricultural products.
"Even if our fruit and crop yield is more than our own requirements, most of the time it goes wasted because we do not have processing units to preserve and export them, so we are looking forward to Chinese cooperation to help us in value-addition of our products to make them attractive for Chinese and international markets."
Talking about potential sectors for Chinese investors in Pakistan, the official said that halal meat, seed, and pesticide plants are some of the sectors which can generate a lot of revenue for foreign investors.
Most of the pesticides Pakistani farmers used are imported from other countries, and if Chinese companies invest in this sector, it will not only be a great investment opportunity for them, but also support Pakistani farmers to have good quality pesticides manufactured at home, he said.
The Pakistan-China Agricultural Cooperation Forum was held to strengthen exchanges and cooperation between Pakistan and China by helping Chinese enterprises understand the current situation of agriculture and investment opportunities in Pakistan.
The forum also enabled Chinese businessmen to explore joint ventures, cooperation opportunities and development potential in the field of agriculture.
Speaking at the event, Chinese Ambassador to Pakistan Yao Jing said that Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan gives a special priority to agriculture, and seeks more cooperation in this sector with China.
He said that Pakistan and China have already initiated government to government cooperation in this field, and Wednesday's forum has provided an opportunity to businessmen of both countries to initiate B2B cooperation.
China is expanding its cooperation with Pakistan under different sectors including agriculture, and it wants to import more agricultural products from Pakistan and it will also focus on value-addition of Pakistani products before importing them, Yao added.