ISLAMABAD: Agriculture , The ministry of national food security and research has evolved comprehensive policy measures to work for the development of agriculture sector under China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) to boost exports of agricultural products, enhance per acre yield of major crops, and produce high-tech value added products of international standards.
The measures are part of first ever “National Food Security Policy” announced by the ministry last week.
Under the policy measures, the ministry will prepare feasibility reports of trad-able commodities for each sub-zone along the corridor, and will do pilot testing of rural businesses for the identified commodities and coordination for development of business zones along the corridor.
The government will also arrange a series of training programs aimed at capacity building of rural entrepreneurs and agricultural service providers.
Similarly, innovations for quality production, post harvest handling and processing will be introduced and investment portfolios will also be developed for public private partnerships to promote rural businesses.
Business models will be developed to promote value-added agriculture all along CPEC route whereas special focus would be given on modern production and market infrastructure development for grain and fruit crops, fisheries, livestock and livestock products.
China is second largest importer in the world with overall imports of $1966 billion including food imports worth of over $100 billion. Pakistan’s share in Chinese imports is only $2.93 billion while in food imports, the Pakistani share is only around 1 percent. China-Pakistan economic corridor (CPEC) has provided an opportunity to increase trade on the principles of complementary advantages and mutual benefits.
According to official sources, the key areas for agricultural economic and technical cooperation between China and Pakistan will be determined by fully considering the comparative advantage and cooperation needs.
There will be an opportunity to produce high-tech value added agricultural produces at international standards for different potential markets.
The commodities that can be potentially exported to China include cereals, dairy eggs, honey, live animals, tobacco, meat, sea more than 40 commodities identified across the corridor for promoting rural businesses through developing entrepreneurship, processing zones, skilled manpower and modern market infrastructure.
The corridor crosses through the nine agro-ecologies. On the basis of these agro-ecologies, the corridor is divided into 9 sections, each of which possesses distinct opportunities for establishing zones along CPEC in collaboration with Chinese counterparts can help to achieve food sovereignty, benefiting farmers and rural communities, smarter food production and yields, biodiversity conservation, sustainable soil health and cleaner water, ecological pest management, and resilient food systems, the sources added.
Earlier announcing the first ever National Food Security Policy here, Sikandar Hayat Khan Bosan said the policy envisages to achieve its objectives through alleviation of poverty, promotion of sustainable food production systems-by achieving an average growth rate of 4% per annum, and making agriculture more productive, profitable, climate resilient, and competitive.
“Food availability will be ensured through an increase in production of food items,” the Minister said while addressing a press conference here.
He said a national food security council is being set up under the chairmanship of the Prime Minister with the chief ministers and representatives from relevant government agencies to review the state of food security and take appropriate policy measures.
“The comprehensive strategy and action plan for addressing the food security issues in collaboration with national and international partners are also being deliberated at the ministry of national food security and research”, he added.