ISLAMABAD - China will help in installing phytosanitary sys­tem for increasing fruit export and building vocational & technical agriculture institutions for training farmers.

The matter was discussed in a meeting be­tween Federal Minister for National Food Security and Research Syed Fakhar Imam and Yao Jing, Ambassador of China here on Thursday.

Fakhar Imam said that Pakistan future will be driven through agriculture.

He said that both countries need to revis­it the contours of agricultural sector. He said that technical experts from both sides should directly interact with each other to come up with concrete projects for agricultural re­search. Federal Minister said that Pakistan was facing problem of low yield, so there must be exchange of germplasm as an area of cooperation which will provide an oppor­tunity to develop high yielding varieties for cotton, fruit, hybrid rice and wheat by our research centers. Fakhar Imam said that Chi­na is one of largest markets in the world for export of meat & meat products. Pakistan has no access to Chinese market due to the issue of FMD. So collaboration can be done in this regard as well. The minister said that Balochistan is excelling in producing organic cotton. It was decided that China will help in installing phytosanitary system for increas­ing fruit export. It was also decided that Chi­na will also help in building vocational and technical agriculture institutions for training farmers and other people. He said that now Plant Breeders Act and Plant Seed Act will give a window for branding our products. Chinese Ambassador also showed interest in mutual cooperation in fishery at Gawadar.

China – Pakistan JWG on Agricultural Coop­eration was established in pursuance of the MoU (signed on 02.11.2018) and Framework Agreement (signed on 26.05.2019).First Meeting of JWG was held on November 01, 2019 in Islamabad. Chinese side has provid­ed in-kind donation of locust control equip­ment to the tune of around Rs. 4.94 million to Pakistan including 300,000 liters of Mala­thyun (pesticide) and 50 sprayer equipment. Another request for provision of 200 drones worth 2.6 million dollars is under process with Economic Affairs Division. Chinese side has also graciously donated medical equip­ment including 30,000 surgical masks, 1000 protective suits and 1000 protective goggles for continuation of locust control activities during coronavirus pandemic. China is also donating 100,000 dollars in cash to support locust control activities. An MoU was signed in March, 2020 between Pakistan and China during the visit of the President of Pakistan to China. The MoU is aimed at establishing a Joint Plan Pest and Disease Control Centre in Pakistan. Establishment of the Centre is ex­tremely important as there is no such centre in Pakistan