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Mr. MA Aiguo, Vice Minister for Agriculture and Rural Affairs, China has called on Makhdum Khusro Bakhtyar, the Minister for Planning, Development & Reform (PD&R) here on Monday.
Secretary Planning, Zafar Hassan, Project Director CPEC, Hassan Daud and officials from line ministries were present on the occasion.
Makhdum Khusro Bakhtyar highlighted that Pakistan’s agriculture sector employs 45% of manpower, contributes about 24 % in GDP, provides livelihood to 64 % of the country’s rural population and share 20% in total exports.
Minister PD&R identified that Pak-China agricultural cooperation has to focus on the vertical increase in productivity of existing crops, transfer of knowledge and technologies, seed and plant protection as well disease control, value addition and marketing of agri-products including dairy, livestock, and fisheries. The mutual cooperation should cover the whole basket of agri-sectors, he added.
Makhdum Khusro Bakhtyar further said that there rest a massive potential to develop Pakistan agri-sector and achieve a win-win situation. He pointed out that joint ventures, value addition, cold chain management for fruits and vegetables, marketing and branding would help Pakistan to overcome the past weaknesses and increase its agri-export to China and other nations of the world.
Minister further stressed that both sides should work closely and identify areas of future cooperation.
Mr. MA Aiguo said that agricultural cooperation would set new and important direction that should focus on areas as well as the level of cooperation and finalization of specific plans. He further said that China is ready to share its expertise and successful agriculture models with Pakistan.
Both sides agreed to broaden agro-cooperation by adopting a comprehensive approach to fast track communication and implementation to tap potentials of the most important agriculture sector in Pakistan.