The Pakistani government is planning to enhance its agriculture sector with 13 ‘mega’ projects and China and New Zealand could play a role in their success, according to local news sources.
Mehboob Sultan, Pakistan’s minister national food security and research, told a delegation from the China Machinery Engineering Cooperation (CMEC), his government wanted to work with China to update the country’s agricultural industry.
“The government is resolved to uplift the agriculture sector and is going to launch 13 mega projects across the country and the technical cooperation with China would help us in the field,” Sultan told The News International.
“Due to the lack of requisite technology we are lagging behind in value addition and processing, hence the joint venture in this regard and adaption of best practices from China in the field of agriculture.”
Sultan added the two countries had gone beyond the traditional level of cooperation under the China–Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) in areas such as crop farming, food storage and export. This assistance was mutually beneficial and had brought the countries closer together.
On the same day, Sultan met with Hamish MacMaster, high commissioner of New Zealand to Pakistan, and expressed Pakistan’s desire to learn from New Zealand, noting the potential for increased trade of fresh produce.
“We are looking forward to getting technical assistance, machinery, technology and equipment from New Zealand,” Sultan said in an official statement.
“We are looking forward to benefiting from the agro-scientists after getting equipped with modern agricultural techniques and could contribute greatly”
“It (Pakistan) will welcome New Zealand’s offer for assistance for joint ventures in Pakistan for the processing/value addition of apple.”
Sultan was eager to add New Zealand to the list of 48 countries it Pakistan already exports Mangoes to.
“We are hoping that New Zealand will consider importing mangoes from Pakistan along with other fruit and vegetables like dates, citrus, guava, onion and potato,” Sultan said.