ISLAMABAD-Ambassador of Japan Matsuda Kuninori on Monday showed keen interest for developing mutual agricultural research and importing Basmati rice from Pakistan in order to further strengthen bilateral trade and economic cooperation between the two countries. The ambassador called on Minister for National Food Security and Research Syed Fakhar Imam and discussed ways and means to enhance mutual cooperation in different sectors, said a press release issue here.

The minister also stressed the need for enhancing mutual cooperation in transfer of technology from Japan particularly agricultural machinery. Imam asked for providing market access of Pakistani citrus in Japan based on historical trade of citrus fruit with China, Russia, Indonesia, Malaysia, and Iran. He said that cold treatment prescribed in US treatment manual and acceptable to China, Russia, Iran and no non-compliance ever received against this treatment from these countries. He said that it worked well to eliminate all fruit flies from our (mandarin) Kinnow and also admired Kobe beef of Japan.

Matsuda Kuninori mentioned that Pakistani mango was more fragrant and showed interest in export of Basmati Rice from Pakistan. Pakistan exported $3847 thousand worth Basmati Rice last year to Japan, he added. The Japanese ambassador also showed interest in developing mutual agricultural research.

He said that Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries (MAFF) Japan had granted market access to fresh Pakistani mango, which was subject to offshore disinfestations treatment, sterilization at a temperature of 47 C or higher for 25 minutes using saturated steam at vapour heat treatment facility dully approved by DPP and National Plant Protection Organization (NPPO) of Japan and pre-clearance program by Japanese Inspectors. The export of Pakistani mangoes (Sindhri & Chaunsa) from Pakistan to Japan is underway.

Roomi Foods Pvt. Ltd. has shipped successfully 3 mango shipments to Japan as per agreed procedure between DPP and MAFF as a temporary measure. The minister extended deep appreciation to MAFF for facilitating export of mango from Pakistan to Japan by exempting pre-clearance in the wake of COVID-19 outbreak instead of restricting it due to difficulty in implementation of pre-clearance.

It is worth mentioning here that Japanese Government has previously acceded to the request of the Government of Pakistan and awarded funds to UNIDO in 2019 for launching project on “Agri-Business and Agro-Industry Development” with an estimated cost of $3.02 million. The Japanese ambassador during his call on the Minister for NFSR on April 27 unveiled the intention of the Japanese Government to provide an assistance package to fight the desert locust in Pakistan. Japan has provided 58,502 litres insecticide last month in Multan, Bahawalpur, Sukkar, Mirpurkhas, Dera Bugti and Dera Ismael Khan.