Pakistan keen to learn from Chinese experience for modernising agri sector
BEIJING – Pakistan is keen to learn from the Chinese experience and expertise for modernising its agriculture sector with focus on corporate farming, new seed development for enhancing crop yield, introduction of new varieties of agriculture products, establishing agro industry and setting cold chain network.
Pakistan Ambassador to China, Moin Ul Haque made these remarks in a virtual meeting with Professor Deng Xiuxin, Vice President of Chinese Academy of Engineering (CAE). Dr Iqrar Ahmad Khan, Vice Chancellor of University of Agriculture, Faisalabad and leading experts and faculty members of Huazhong Agricultural University also participated in the meeting.
During the meeting, the discussions were focused on China-Pakistan bilateral cooperation in the field of agriculture.
Ambassador Moin also highlighted the growing significance of agriculture sector for cooperation between the two countries and praised China for its progress in the agriculture sector. Pakistan was keen to learn from Chinese experience and expertise for modernizing agriculture sector in the country, with focus on corporate farming, new seed development for enhancing crop yield, introduction of new varieties of agriculture products, establishing agro industry and setting cold chain network. Prof. Iqrar gave a detailed presentation about the ongoing cooperation between Faisalabad Agriculture University and Chinese universities highlighting new areas of cooperation. He proposed the establishment of a Special Agriculture Technology Zone in Faisalabad and invited Chinese counterparts and enterprises for this project. Prof. Deng positively noted the proposals and expressed full support of CAE for strengthening cooperation between the two countries in the agriculture sector.
Meanwhile, Pakistan’s sesame seed export to China surged to $42.88 million in the first two months of the current year, showing a growth of 190.48 per cent on a year-on-year basis. According to General Administration of Customs of the People’s Republic of China (GACC), the country imported 28,662.66 tons of sesame seeds worth $42.88 million, marking an increase of 141.37% by volume while it was 11,874.82 tons worth $14.76 million in the same period of last year. During the first two months of 2022, the bilateral trade increased significantly as Pakistan’s exports to China crossed $670 million, recording a nearly 23% increase. In January, Rakesh Pal Khamuani, Director of Exports & Business Development told China Economic Net, that sesame seed trade increased between China and Pakistan after the free trade agreement took effect.
He said the two countries had always supported each other for better bilateral trade. China was the biggest importer of sesame seeds “whose demand is huge and increasing every year because they also do value addition and re-export”. “In the crop year 2021-2022 (current), 90% of the crop production is exported from August 2021 to March 2022. This is the first time in history that the crop is finished earlier even before the new harvest starts, from which 80% has been just exported to China with shipments in September 2021 to March 2022,” he added.
Rakesh stated that sesame seed trade had been very important in Pakistan. On average Pakistan produced 100,000 tons of sesame seeds, 85% of which was exported and the rest was used during the winter in the local market for bakery and sweets.
“This year the exports have crossed 85% of the total production in just seven months of this fiscal year and there are five more months until the new harvest crops of 2022-2023.” “If we look into the year 2022, from January to March only 35% of the total production was exported to China, which we were expecting much more. However, if we compare September to December 2021, the exports to China were 85% of the total production,” he mentioned.
He believed that due to the border and geographical location, and the transit time, Pakistan would give priority to the Chinese buyers. However, Pakistan must have good crops with both quantity and quality. He added that weather played an important role when it comes to the production of sesame seeds. It was too early to talk about the new crop in 2022-2023 as the sewing would start after April 2022. It may be noted that Pakistan’s export of sesame seeds to China achieved a historical figure of $120.44 million in 2021. China imported 92,516.55 tons in 2021 and was one of the main destinations for sesame seed exports from Pakistan.