FAISALABAD

China Academy of Agricultural Sciences will set up a joint agricultural research centre in Pakistan to strengthen the sector with new varieties, innovative approaches and by ensuring food security in the region.

It was discussed at a meeting held between Chinese delegation headed by Dr Zhang Rui, father of BT Cotton in China, Director Plant Molecular Breeding Lab, Chinese Academy of Agricultural Sciences, and University of Agriculture Faisalabad Vice Chancellor Dr Iqrar Ahmad Khan. The other members of the Chinese delegation included Guo Sandui, Beijing Silverland Biotechnology Director Li Yimin and Greengage international China Business Manager Saeed Kulachi.

Zhang Rui said that the centre will initially start working on cotton crop. He hoped that new virus resistant varieties of cotton to be introduced, helping the country increase the productivity. He added, “We will also provide the breeding material. The research area will stretch to the other crops as well.”

He lauded the steps being taken on the part of the UAF for the uplift of the agricultural sector. The meeting also discussed the possibilities regarding establishing the centre at the University. Rui said that he will put the suggestions regarding establishing the centre at the UAF before the Chinese authorities looking up the matter.

The vice chancellor said that China is one of the great friends of Pakistan. He stressed a need for further strengthening the agricultural ties between the counties so that the countries can benefit from each others’ experiences. He said the university had offered a building for the centre. He said that the university was also establishing the China Confucius Centre so that students could be enlightened with Chinese language and culture. 

ORIC Director UAF Prof Dr Asif Ali, Dr Abdus Salam, Dr Noorul Islam, Dr Sultan Habibullah, Dr Shah Nawaz, Dr Azeem Khan, Dr Masooma and others also attended the meeting.