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China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) | Agriculture

khansaheeb

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Next phase of CPEC to include agricultural sector: PM Imran Khan

January 1, 2021






ISLAMABAD: Prime Minister Imran Khan said on Friday that the next phase of the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) would lay emphasis on the agricultural sector.

Speaking at a ceremony in Islamabad, the premier regretted that the previous government had ignored the sector. "Pakistan is an agricultural country," he stressed.

PM Imran Khan said the government was working with the Chinese officials on increasing agricultural products and using their methods. "The next phase of the CPEC includes boosting the agricultural sector."


Learning from China

The premier once again admired China for its strategies and asserted that the Chinese model of development suits Pakistan's needs the best.

"If we can learn from any one country in the world, it is China. Their development model suits Pakistan the best," he said. "The speed with which China developed in the last 30 years is something we can learn from."

He added that Beijing had managed to prove that poverty alleviation is true development.



Relocation of Chinese industries to Pakistan

The premier said the government was keen on the relocation of Chinese industries to Pakistan "just like Vietnam".

"For this purpose, we have launched special economic zones (SEZs). Next, we aim to convince them to export from Pakistan."

The premier said no government had tried to boost exports in the past 50 years. "This is why we have to go to the International Monetary Fund - when our imports outweigh exports and create a current account deficit."

PM Imran Khan said the government would hold discussions with the Chinese officials on increasing exports in the short term. "Pakistan has great potential," he stressed.


2021 will be the year for Pakistan's economic growth

The prime minister said 2021 would be a year of economic growth, emphasising that the country was already moving in the right direction as essential industries increased productivity.

Giving an example of the construction sector, PM Imran Khan said an increase in cement sales was a clear sign that construction activity is on the rise.

He said the textile industry too was producing at full capacity for the first time in many years, resulting in a "shortage of labour" in the sector.



From banana republic to mango republic, that's the way to go IK!
 

ghazi52

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Agri, livestock, fisheries sectors to be developed in GB under CPEC:

22 Jul 2021


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ISLAMABAD, Jul 22 (APP): Chairman China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) Authority Lt. Gen. (retd) Asim Saleem Bajwa on Thursday said the immense potential of agriculture, livestock and fisheries’ sectors in areas close to Khunjrab Pass, Gilgit Baltistan would be exploited under the umbrella of CPEC.

In a tweet, the Chairman said work was underway to address the challenges in the way of benefiting from the potential sectors.


“On Agriculture prospects with farmers of area close to Khunjrab Pass-Gilgit Baltistan. Agri, livestock and fishery has potential but challenges too, working to address them under CPEC,” he said while sharing his pics with the local farmers of the area.

During his visit to the area, he met with the local farmers and discussed with them about the crops and yields.
 

ghazi52

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Pakistan to boost tea plantation under CPEC


August 9, 2021





MANSEHRA: While pursuing tea plantations on a commercial scale, the government of Pakistan has decided to cultivate tea on an area of about 25,000 acres over the next five years.

“This year we are going to approve a project where we are growing tea on an area of 25,000 acres; we are creating history; we plan to complete the proposed tea plantations over the next five years,” said Special Assistant to Prime Minister on Food Security Jamshed Iqbal Cheema during his visit to the National Tea and High-Value Crops Research Institute (NTHRI) at Shinkiari, Mansehra.

On the recommendation of Chinese tea experts, the National Tea Research Institute (NTRI), later renamed as NTHRI, was set up on 50 acres of land in Shinkiari in 1986. NTHRI is playing a crucial role in promoting tea cultivation in the country.

Out of the proposed 25,000 acres of land, 10,000 are government-owned forests; 12,000 acres are private land where the Forest Department has planted forests while 3,000 acres of land have been identified in Azad Kashmir. During the next phase, the tea plantation would be extended to all tea-cultivable land of the country, as per the government plan.

Pakistan has great potential for growing tea, according to Cheema, as the country has 178,000 acres of tea cultivable land. “Pakistan can grow its own tea,” he said, adding that the country imported 30 million tonnes of tea each year from 15 different tea-producing countries.

Cheema said Pakistan spent Rs90 billion annually on importing tea. The import value of black tea is Rs89 billion while Rs1 billion goes to green tea’s import.

While inviting private tea companies to invest in the tea sector, Cheema said, “We are ready to facilitate and solve any problems of the private companies regarding their investment.” The government is providing an opportunity to the private companies to invest and to promote the tea trade, which would also create thousands of jobs for the locals. The Ministry of Food Security has allocated Rs8.5 billion budget for high-value crops and cluster development.

According to experts, China from the beginning has played a crucial role in tea promotion in Pakistan. As potential suitable sites and land for tea cultivation are located alongside the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC), China has a big role to play in promoting tea on a commercial scale through joint ventures and technical and financial support.
 

ghazi52

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Salt-tolerant plants to add fertility to Pakistan’s salt-affected soils

10 Aug 2021,

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Salt-tolerant plants to add fertility to Pakistan's salt-affected soils


BEIJING, Aug 10 (APP):To better combat salinity, Pakistan and China have been cooperating with each other in reclaiming salt-affected soils and developing new varieties of quality salt-tolerant plants in Pakistan.

“In Pakistan, about 14% of irrigated lands have deteriorated with salinity, while 64% yield losses are reported due to salinity,” revealed Dr Zhang Huaxin, Research Fellow and Director of the Research Centre of Saline and Alkali Land of the National Forestry and Grassland Administration of China.

He said, “In Pakistan, the average level of salinity increases by an estimated one ton per hectare each year in irrigated areas and can rise to as high as three to five tons in extreme cases.”

Such prevalent salinity is largely driven by high temperatures and scare water resources and this calls for urgent actions against deteriorating salinity.

There are broad prospects for China and Pakistan to collaborate on determining the types of saline/ sodic soils and germplasm resources of salt-tolerant plants in Pakistan, and developing new varieties of quality salt-tolerant plants in Pakistan, Dr Zhang told CEN.

On the sustainability of biological solutions for Pakistan, Dr Muhammad Saqib, Associate Professor of the Institute of Soil and Environmental Science, University of Agriculture, Faisalabad said, a triad of scientific measures have been adopted worldwide to contain sprawling salinity in soils, namely the engineering approach, the reclamation approach, and the biological approach.

In the engineering approach, a lot of systems are installed which involves a huge amount of work and expenditure and is not sustainable, noted Dr. Saqib. Likewise, the reclamation method, which requires a strict combination of clean water and amendments, is not suitable for Pakistan as the country is grappling with rising temperatures and salinity.

The third is the biological approach, in which salt-tolerant plants and trees grow in salt-affected soils and absorb a certain amount of salt in the soils. “We have been struggling with salinity for decades, and the biological approach is the only solution in Pakistan. It is sustainable because trees and plants are important with respect to the environment and the water cycle,” noted Dr Saqib.

To better combat salinity, Pakistan and China have been cooperating with each other in reclaiming salt-affected soils, said Dr Saqib. In May, the Chinese Academy of Forestry and the University of Agriculture Faisalabad signed a Letter of Intent (LoI) to deepen China-Pak cooperation in the remediation of saline/ sodic soils through exchange activities, joint academic conferences, and joint academic projects.

“China has a wide variety of salt-tolerant plants and some of them can be introduced to Pakistan to deal with salinity, such as the plants in the southern part of China’s southern autonomous region of Xinjiang,” said Dr Saqib, who made field investigations in several demonstration zones in China’s eastern Shangdong province and discussed with Chinese experts about the collection, preservation and optimization of salt-tolerant plant resources during his visit to China in 2019.

With such cooperation in place, saline/ sodic soils are likely to regain their fertility in Pakistan.

According to Dr Saqib, “We know China has been developing salt-tolerant rice varieties that can maintain a high output in salt-affected lands. Such rice varieties can also be introduced to Pakistan on an experimental basis and rolled out to more farmers with adequate research and demonstration.
 

ghazi52

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Digital farming under CPEC to revolutionize Pakistan’s agriculture

August 23, 2021




BEIJING, Aug 22 (APP):China is willing to share its experience and help integrate information technology and agriculture to being about green revolution in Pakistan.

Facing the common challenge of climate change, pandemic, and population growth, a smarter agriculture is the way forward for many countries including China.

“The integration of information technology and agriculture will bring about the third green revolution: agricultural digital revolution,” said Zhao Chunjiang from China’s National Engineering Research Center for Information Technology in Agriculture. “By 2025, China’s digital agro economy will exceed a USD 100 billion”.

In the past, farmers laboured for hours in the fields. But now farm work can be done with internet systems, said a staff member of the exhibitor, Ningxia Green Pioneer (Lvxianfeng) Agricultural Mechanical Services Company, which has transformed local farming model with drones, precision hole-sowing machine, driverless harvesters and plant protecting devices, remote surveillance equipment, etc. supported by the Internet of Things, cloud technology, big data, etc.

“Spraying at a speed of 4.5 meters a second, each drone can complete what was used to be done by 25-30 workers per day, saving 80% water, 30% cost of plant protection, and 20%-25% pesticides,” company staff introduced to China Economic Net (CEN). “They can be used in rice, wheat, and maize. Take rice as an example, about USD 60 can be saved for each hectare.”

To better take the advantage of the efficient digital equipment that excels on vast stretches of land, the company takes a step further to push forward scale operation by bring the scattered lands together through land trusteeship, transfer, and shareholding.

A remote monitoring command service center has been set up for visible, standard, and digital farming. Soil, seedlings, pests, diseases, and disasters are monitored, early warnings are sent in case of abnormalities, and automatic solutions can be identified. From sowing, cultivating, to harvesting, the crops grow under close and accurate supervision.

“Under this whole-process land trusteeship, USD 230 can be saved per hectare”, revealed the company staff.

“Not all farmers trust in this new model at the beginning, but after getting to know and see what it can achieve, they started to acknowledge its benefits.”

If there is a chance, we are willing to join the Special Economic Zones (SEZs) under CPEC, company staff said.
 

ghazi52

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All set to exempt Chinese agri drones from taxes

Mushtaq Ghumman
25 Aug 2021





ISLAMABAD: The Economic Coordination Committee (ECC) of the Cabinet which is scheduled to meet on Wednesday (today) will grant exemption of all taxes on drones gifted by China for agriculture sector, and supply of flour and rice to Syria as humanitarian assistance.

In this regard, Ministry of National Food Security and Research in a summary has stated that during a meeting with the Chinese Ambassador, Minister for National Food Security & Research (MNFS&R) requested the Chinese side for provision of drones for controlling desert locusts in Pakistan.

Consequently, after mutual consultation, a formal request was made through Ministry of Economic Affairs to China for provision of drones. Thereafter, Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Affairs (MARA) China donated twelve drones to the Department of Plant Protection (DPP), which were handed over to the Pakistani Mission at Beijing.

The drones which were to be transported by the National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA) remained parked in a warehouse in China and could not be transported to Pakistan due to the Covid pandemic restrictions worldwide and other reasons. MNFS&R with the assistance of Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA), Pakistan has now made all the arrangements for transportation of these drones by ship. The requisite cost has already been approved and a sanction letter issued for transfer of these funds to MOFA.

At present, there are various taxes/duties/levies/port charges such as Federal Excise duty, sales tax, withholding tax, import duties, etc., applicable on the import of drones. Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) was consulted on the issue and it opined that the FBR allows tariff exemptions upon the recommendation of the Federal Government. In addition, Government of Sindh was also consulted and they have informed that the import of drones is not liable to Sindh Sales Tax under the Sindh Act of 2011
 

ghazi52

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Pakistan, China develop high-yielding rice varieties

September 8, 2021



BEIJING: The people of Pakistan have started to benefit from the fruits of China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) as the universities of Punjab and Wuhan are jointly developing high-yield hybrid rice varieties with the latest technologies like AI, big data, 5G and remote sensing to boost Pakistani rice exports.

This was stated by the forum of International Cooperation and Development of Honglian Type Hybrid Rice in Luotian, Hubei province of China.

These rice varieties are cultivated in Hubei province under the Wuhan University-University of the Punjab joint research centre.

Honglian hybrid rice, developed by Professor Zhu Yinguo of Wuhan University – member of the Chinese Academy of Engineering, is one of the world’s three major types of cytoplasmic male sterility (CMS) of rice (Oryza sativa L.) that has been commercially used in hybrid rice seed production.

By 2021, the accumulated acreage of Honglian hybrid rice globally has exceeded about 30 million hectares.
In 2019, the Wuhan University and the University of Punjab established cooperation ties to develop Honglian hybrid rice in Pakistan together.

In the past two years, Honglian hybrid rice achieved promising harvests in six demonstrative plots in Lahore, Gujranwala, Vehari, Pakpattan in Punjab and Shikarpur and Larkana in Sindh, basically covering main rice planting regions in Pakistan.

In 2020, three excellent varieties of Honglian hybrid were submitted to Pakistan’s regional trials for seed certification and registration, and the results indicated that the yield of Honglian hybrid rice performed distinctly higher than the check varieties among the total 104 hybrid rice varieties.

It is worth mentioning that Honglian WR1901 had a high seed setting rate of 95% and a yield of 12.9 tonnes/ha, higher than that of the control group by 12.17%, which aroused great interest from local farmers and dealers.

The varieties were submitted in May for trials and the results will be made available in December, Zhu Renshan, Leader of Wuhan University-University of the Punjab Joint Research Centre for Honglian Type Hybrid Rice, told China Economic Net.

Now, more high-yield hybrid rice varieties are being cultivated which were inaugurated on April 23, 2021.
The base is being developed into a high-tech hybrid rice seed production base of complete mechanisation and intelligentisation.

So far, 80 hectares of land has been put into trial.

Rice production in Pakistan will improve due to the joint effort which will lift the country’s exports to others but also help safeguard the food securities of China and Pakistan.
 

ghazi52

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Pak-China cooperation to revive cotton fields in Pakistan

by The Frontier Post






ISLAMABAD (INP): Pak-China cooperation to revive cotton fields in Pakistan, Gwadar Pro reported on Sunday. Last season, Pakistan harvested 5.6 million bales of cotton, which is the lowest point in the past 30 years.
Meanwhile, Pak-China cotton-related cooperation is in full swing. “We are mixing the advantages of China cotton and Pakistan cotton to create new cotton varieties,” said Shahid Iqbal, Ph.D. scholar of Cotton Research Institute in Henan, China, who has been working for a Pak-China cottonseed program in Henan for 4 years.
This is one of the microcosms of the ongoing China-Pakistan cotton collaboration.
“Last year, we had to import more than 50% of cotton,” said Muhammad Abdullah, executive director of Sapphire Fiber, one of the largest textile companies in Pakistan.
He complained that low production and quality force the local industry to choose imports. “Presently, the domestic consumption of cotton is 14 million bales. However, Pakistan harvested 5.6 million bales of cotton in the last season only.” He added.

Cotton production in Pakistan is in a vicious circle. According to the research of Central Cotton Research Institute (CCRI), low production of cotton lead to the low profitability of cotton planting. Cotton farmers turn to grow sugarcane in cotton-growing areas for better income. Sugarcane plants robbed water from cotton plants and humidified the whole area.
The high humidity leads to more insects which are deadly to the cotton plants and farmers have no technology to deal with them.

What makes it worse is the climate change in the past few years, which is also weakening cotton’s strength and staple elongation. Another quality problem is the impurity which is caused by 100% manual picking.
As pickers picked the cotton, stored and transported it, contamination is entering in the cotton, which may causes spots on the final product.. Kamran Razaq, cotton field supervisor of Sapphire Fiber pointed out that the impurity content of imported cotton is 4.5%, while the counterpart in Pakistan cotton is 8-9%, which is below the criteria of the textile mills.


To break the vicious circle of low cotton production, higher quality seed is the top demand, which can also help in quality improvement.

“The heat resistance of Pakistani cotton is excellent. The high-yield and high-quality traits of Chinese cotton are also what Pakistan seeds need. The germplasm resources of China and Pakistan are complementary,” said Shahid Iqbal, the guy who appeared at the beginning of the article, who used to be a scientific officer of Cotton Research Institute in Multan. “We have a plan to send new cotton seeds to Pakistan next year for adaptability test and select the best ones and use them for production.”

Xinjiang Agricultural University and University of Agriculture Faisalabad (UAF) have also been cooperating in cotton cultivation for a few years. They have experimental fields in Faisalabad and plans to test mechanical picking in Pakistan.


“In North Xinjiang, one of the biggest cotton areas in China, the mechanization is 90%. We use machine picking everywhere,” said Chen Quanjia, deputy dean of Xinjiang Agricultural University, adding that drought-resistant and water-saving technologies in Xinjiang including drip irrigation and mulching are also leading the world.

“Such technologies and equipment can be transferred to Pakistan to assist them coping with the current dilemma. China and Pakistan need to assist each other to improve our cotton production together.”
Dr. Muhammad Ali Talpur, vice president of Pakistan Central Cotton Committee (PCCC), revealed that a modern biotechnology center of excellence laboratory is about to be set up at CCRI to promote cotton research activities. “China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) is opening new avenues for cotton research and development to solidify PCCC on modern scientific lines,” he said.

“Under CPEC, CCRI in Multan had declared a cottonseed cooperation collaborating with Fauji Fertilizer Company,” added Dr. Zahid Mehmood, director of CCRI. “We plan to cultivate related talent, introduce related technology and arrange areas for mechanical cotton picking. Our collaboration with China is going on. Hope we have stories of success in the future.”
 

ghazi52

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Chinese investors for investing in Pakistan’s agricultural sector

October 2, 2021


The Chinese investors have planned to invest in various agriculture and dairy sectors of Pakistan under the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC).

This was stated by Chinese Ambassador to Pakistan Nong Rong, adding the Chinese enterprises plan to invest and cooperate with Pakistan in pepper planting, buffalo milk industry development, food processing and agricultural machinery, according to a media report.

He said at present the agriculture and industry are the areas that are under the main focus of the Pakistan government. The Pakistan government, he said, is very much concerned in these two areas.

He said these sectors are also the most promising areas for China-Pakistan cooperation. He said rapid progress in agricultural cooperation has been made, mainly in three aspects including strengthening mechanisms.

Last year, an agricultural working group under the framework of the CPEC joint Commission was set up. The first task of the working group was to help Pakistan fight against locust plague, which achieved remarkable results, he added.

Further he said the process of exporting agricultural products to China has also been accelerated.

The inspection and quarantine procedures of Pakistani agricultural products exported to China, including onions, potatoes, cherries and dairy products, have been stepped up. This year, a protocol on onion export to China will be signed, he informed.

Pakistan has also established a foot-and-mouth disease free zone. The third aspect, he said, is to promote investment.

This year, with efforts made by the Chinese embassy, China and Pakistan established an information platform on agricultural and industrial cooperation to promote all-round exchanges and cooperation among government, industry, academia and research institutes, he added.

With respect to Gwadar port, the ambassador said it is the pilot project of the CPEC and a jewel in the crown of the CPEC. Since 2013, both China and Pakistan have worked hand in hand on port operations, free zone development, and transportation infrastructure, and completed a series of social and livelihood projects.
The achievements made today can be recognised as the “Speed of Gwadar”.

The 10th meeting of the Joint Coordination Committee (JCC) expressed satisfaction on the progress of Gwadar Port and Free Zone, and made plans for the next step in the construction of Gwadar Port, he said adding that the current development situation of Gwadar Port was very gratifying.

The port is getting busier and transit trade to Afghanistan is running smoothly. The government is actively considering arranging more cargo to arrive in and be processed through the Gwadar Port.

The port operator COPHC is cooperating with China’s Ningbo Zhoushan Port Group to improve the port operations, he added.

He said all investment promotion work in the starting zone of the Free Zone has been completed.

More than 40 companies have invested and registered, and some of them have completed plant construction and started trial production. —TLTP
 

ghazi52

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Shandong Rainbow Agricultural Technology will introduce peanut seed into Pakistan set up a peanut oil research laboratory under CPEC to boost oil supply in Pakistan.



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