FAISALABAD-Pakistan-China agricultural ties will help combat daunting issues including low productivity, post-harvest losses, value additions and farm machinery, meant to ensure food security and alleviate poverty.

University of Agriculture Faisalabad Vice Chancellor Dr Muhammad Ashraf expressed the view while talking to a delegation of Xinjiang Agriculture University (XAU) China, led by Chinese University Dean Prof Dr Shi Shubing here on Monday.

The VC said that the UAF and the XAU are working jointly on the project of heat-tolerant cotton and wheat varieties to identify the genes for climate resilient varieties.

He said that China had adopted a model of small scaled implements for small farmers. He said that the university had taken up the challenges of developing small implements as more than 90 per cent of our farming community consisted of small farmers. He stressed upon the need to learn from the Chinese experiences in farm machinery value addition and seed.

He said that the country was producing abundant and good quality agri produces, but we could not able to earn foreign exchange. It was because of lack of value additions and not following modern trends and international standards. He said that China is Pakistan’s fair-weather friend as she always stands with us in difficult times.

Talking about Confucius Institute, he said that under the Confucius Institute, UAF, as many as 7,000 students had learned the Chinese language.

Dr Shi Shubing said that they would help out UAF to collaborate with the Chinese seed companies and farm machineries to excel in the agriculture sector. He said that under the Confucius Institute, they are imparting the education of Chinese language in Pakistan that will increase the people to people contact and to learn from each other experiences.

Dr Rasheed Ahmad sought the help of the Chinese agricultural experts to impart training on food processing, agricultural implements and value addition.

Dr Ashfaq Chatha said that collaborative work on heat and drought resilient cotton and wheat varieties, Jujube, other fruits and vegetable would pave a new horizon of development. He said that under the Confucius Institute, as many as 300 students and faculty members were sent in China for education.