ISLAMABAD-Pakistan’s export of regulated agriculture commodities to South Korea increased by 7.54 percent during the first two years of the incumbent government, it was learnt here reliably. The country’s export of regulated agriculture commodities to South Korea increased to Rs 7773 million in 2019-20 from Rs 7228.14 million in 2017-18, official data reveals. 

The commodities that were exported include alfalfa seed, animal feed, cotton products, rice, sesame seed, wheat straw and wheat flour. Besides agriculture commodities, Pakistan also exported animal products, dairy products, meat, tanned hide and skin worth Rs 1859 million to South Korea during 2018-19.While it imported same products of worth Rs 751.9 million from South Korea. 

Meanwhile, a press statement issued here stated that Pakistan and South Korea agreed to develop new varieties of potato as the first project of cooperation. Federal Minister for National Food Security and Research (NFSR) Syed Fakhar Imam met with Kwak Sung-Kyu, Ambassador of the Republic of Korea along with Dr Cho Gyoung-rae, newly appointed Director, KOPIA Pakistan Centre. 

Federal minister said that signing of MoU between PARC and its counterpart RDA-Korea will promote cooperation in the field of agricultural research. The Rural Development Administration (RDA) of the Republic of Korea launched the Korea Programme on International Agriculture (KOPIA) in 2009 to share the Korean experiences and knowledge. Korean Embassy in Pakistan indicated that Pakistan can also take benefit of KOPIA and MoNFS&R also expressed its intention to join KOPIA. The proposal was formally taken up through EAD with the Korean side. Pakistan Agricultural Research Council (PARC) was selected as the technical organization from Pakistan side to further collaborate with the Korean side for establishment of KOPIA Centre. Subsequently, PARC and Rural Development Administration, Korea signed the MoU on 6th August, 2020 for establishment of KOPIA Pakistan Centre. KOPIA Centre will be housed at NARC, Islamabad. Under the MoU, KOPIA Centre’s cooperative projects and activities includes technology development projects related to agriculture and livestock which aim to increase incomes of smallholder farm households; exchange of research materials, publications and technical information; technology development activities of Korean experts and scientists at PARC as the Centre’s counterpart; training of Pakistan researchers, extension agents, community organizations and farmers at the RDA in Korea or at the Centre and other activities which intend to promote technological cooperation in agriculture and livestock. Two sides agreed to develop new varieties of potato as the first project of cooperation under this MoU.