CPEC: A big opportunity emerges for Pakistan agriculture sector

CPEC: A big opportunity emerges for Pakistan agriculture sector

ISLAMABAD - Recent inclusion of the agriculture sector in the long term plan of China Pakistan Economic Corridor provides Pakistan an opportunity to export more value added agriculture products to tap China’s growing demand of food commodities.

According to a report launched by State Bank of Pakistan titled “State of Economy 2017-18” Pakistan`s agriculture sector would witness significant development under the CPEC.

Through the project, China would transfer its technology to Pakistan to increase per acre yield of various crops and to add more value to the agriculture products.

Currently, in agriculture sector, out of China’s global food imports of around 99.6 billion dollars, Pakistan’s share is only around 0.4 billion dollars which makes only 0.37 percent.

According to the report, the Ministry of National Food Security and Research, in its 2018 Food Security Policy, envisages the development of nine agricultural development zones along the CPEC.

By encouraging innovation, entrepreneurship, and collaboration, these zones could serve as platforms to develop clusters and infrastructure to nurture emerging rural businesses to produce commodities deemed exportable to China.

These commodities include cereals, dairy, eggs, meat, honey, tobacco, seafood and fruits, and others.

The report further added that in the crop sector, focus is emphasized on increasing the use of modern machinery and synthetic fertilizers to enhance yields, while food storage and processing zones would be constructed to reduce significant post-harvest losses.