ISLAMABAD    -      Pakistan and Japan are looking for increasing bilateral cooperation in agricultural-based industry and value addition as Japan has already announced grant aid to enhance productivity and capacities in relevant agricultural fields.

Recently Japan has announced a grand aid of $5.2 million to support Agri-Food and Agro-Industry development in the country’s Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and Balochistan provinces through the United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO), Minister and Deputy Head of Mission, Embassy of Japan in Pakistan Yusuke Shindo told APP.

The senior diplomat said that this amount would be utilised for enhancement of productivity and capacities of relevant sectors in the cattle meat value chain in districts of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa including Abbottabad, Kohistan and D I Khan and apple value chain in province of Balochistan in Quetta, Killa Abdullah and Pishin.

Replying to a question, he said that Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) was already working on potential agro-based region of Khyber Pakhtunkwa including Hazara, Swat and Chitral as in Gilgit Batistan for promoting innovation and value addition culture in these areas.

He said that through JICA, the Japanese government was also working on cold storage for the preservation apple, apricot and other perishable fruits.

“We are initiating capacity building training for farmers’ related sowing, cultivation and use of prepared crops and fruits for value addition through increase the value of these products,” the senior diplomats said.

Replying to a question, he said that Japanese companies were interested in establishing the industrial units of auto parts in Pakistan for bringing investment to provide opportunity to the local people.