Pak-China Economic Corridor will open new vistas of cooperation in Agri-sector: SpeakersAugust 4, 2014
LAHORE: Pak-China Economic Corridor will open up new avenues of cooperation in Agriculture sector as it would be paving the way for the transfer of technology pertaining to Agro chemicals, pesticides, fertilizers and seeds.
This was the upshot of the speeches delivered at the opening ceremony of first CAC Pakistan Summit jointly organized by the Lahore Chamber of Commerce and Industry and CCPIT Sub Council for Chemical Industry with the support of Punjab government.
Provincial Minister for Agriculture Dr Farrukh Javaid, LCCI President Engineer Sohail Lashari, Vice Chairman CCPIT Sub-Council for Chemical Industry Ms Ma Chunyan, LCCI Senior Vice President Mian Tariq Misbah, Vice President Kashif Anwar, Chairman Standing Committees Sheikh Mohammad Arshad and Jawaid Saleem Qureshi were the speakers.
There was a consensus among all the speakers that Pak-China Hybrid Wheat Industrialization Cooperation Agreement would greatly help in the development of Pakistan’s agriculture sector through new varieties of seeds.
Provincial Minister for Agriculture Dr Farrukh Javaid said that the CAC Summit and Exhibition is a unique opportunity for Pakistan’s agriculturists as it would enable them to learn about the Chinese expertise in the Agriculture sector. He said that Chinese cooperation in all fields of the economy is matchless.
The Minister said that the Punjab government was striving to educate the farming community as the research in agriculture field would remain useless if it does not reach the real farmer.
He said that the Punjab government was taking every possible step to strengthen agriculture sector that is evident from the fact that it has give flat rate of Rs 10.35 per unit for the tube-wells.
The Minister expressed the resolve that a subsidy of Rs 14 billion for the Agriculture sector would be disbursed after the consultation of the stakeholders so that the benefit could reach the right quarters.
The LCCI President Engineer Sohail Lashari in his address stressed the need for Public Private Dialogue as a prerequisite to revolutionize the agriculture sector that holds the key to progress and prosperity. He said that it was the only area where a little attention could do miracle as it does not need that amount of electricity required to run the industrial wheel.
He said that Pakistan was the only country of the South Asia to have CAC exhibition that would certainly strengthen Pakistan’s Agriculture sector.
He said that the government would have to strengthen the institutional framework to provide much need support to this sector.
He also called for construction of water reservoirs as the shortage of water could pose a serious threat to this sector in coming years. “This is white oil but unfortunately we are more focused to the black oil instead of taking care of our future generations that are likely to suffer because of water shortage.”
Vice Chairman CCPIT Sub-Council for Chemical Industry Ms Ma Chunyan said that the trade of pesticide has an important role in the total two-way business of $12 billion. She said that in 2013, pesticides amounting to $172 million were imported from China while import of fertilizer remained at $309 million. She said that Chinese seeds are equally popular in Pakistan.
Ms. Ma Chunyan said that China is the largest exporter of pesticides chemicals as it exported 300 million types of pesticides in the year 2013. She said that 2400 Chinese enterprises are directly linked to this sector.
She said that the Chinese cooperation with Pakistani agriculturists would write new success stories in coming years. She said that the CAC Exhibition has in its fold chemical, machinery, seeds, pesticides and fertilizers etc.
She thanked the Chief Minister Punjab Mian Shahbaz Sharif and LCCI President Engineer Sohail Lashari for extending unmatched support for the successful happening of this mega event.
Chairman Standing Committee on Agriculture Jawaid Saleem Qureshi urged the government to form task force to deal with the regulatory and marketing issues of the agriculture sector.
He said that Punjab’s agriculture sector could generate extra revenue of over Rs.100 billion if agri input prices are controlled. He said that the subsidy allocated for the agriculture sector could be utilized to provide cheaper fertilizers and pesticides to the farmer by paying GST to the government. Elaborating the point, he said that if the government pays the GST on pesticides and fertilizers through the subsidy, it would enable the farmers to have cheaper inputs.