ISLAMABAD   -  The 15th episode of Pakistan Academy of Sciences Agriculture Policy Debate with the topic of “Vegetable Seed Production and Supply Chain” was held here, underlining the prospects of enhancing vegetables’ export to China.

According to a report published by Gwadar Pro, during the webinar, speakers and discussants from Pakistan on the occasion shared their views on the current situation, issues and solutions of vegetable seeds in Pakistan.

Participants from China also introduced the current situation and development trend of China’s vegetable industry, and mentioned that in future Pakistan has potential to export vegetables to China.

Gu Wenliang, Agricultural Commissioner of Chinese Embassy in Pakistan, said that in future Pakistan has potential to export vegetables to China. In past decades, the vegetable industry of China has made great progress.

Last year, China exported 11 million tons of vegetables, worth 15 billion dollars. Top three vegetable import countries are India, USA and Vietnam. Gu further mentioned at the occasion that vegetable production in China has achieved rapid development in new varieties breeding, facility cultivation, pollution-free production, and industrialization.

In addition, technologies such as diseases and pests control, soilless cultivation, and water-saving irrigation have also made significant progress.

The Chinese government is strengthening vegetable quality certification systems for green vegetables and we avoid highly toxic pesticides in production.

Muhammad Najeebulaah, Chief Scientist of Vegetable Research Institute, Faisalabad, pointed out that major vegetable area in Pakistan is under hybrid seed.

More than 80 percent of seed requirement is met through imports. Only one seed company ‘Yuksel Seed Asia’ is producing hybrid seed through proper system.

Additionally, a limited quantity of vegetables OPV seed is being produced by government institutes and some private companies.

Issues including non-availability of infrastructure, expertise, storage units, specific site, unstable policies etc exist currently, and facilitating seed companies/ local producers, stable policies, relaxation of taxes are suggested.

Aamir Mirza, former Country Head of Monsanto/Bayer introduced that Bayer, Syngenta and another American company started start-of-the-art seed production of corn in Pakistan. Mian Shoukat Ali, CEO of Yuksel Seed Asia, said that major expense is the price of the seeds. And seed production in Pakistan is collaborated with a Turkish company and a joint research breeding.

Yang Limei, Chief Scientist of Institute of Vegetables and Flowers, Chinese Academy of Agriculture Sciences and Liu Ziji, Associate Researcher of Tropical Crops Genetic Resources Institute, Chinese Academy of Tropical Agricultural Sciences also attended the webinar.