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China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) | Agriculture

The Gansu Academy of Agricultural Sciences and Sindh Agricultural University have signed a Memorandum of Understanding to establish the China-Pakistan flax research and innovation hub. In planting studies, the Longya series of flax varieties, which were chosen based on the dry and low rainfall climate conditions of Northwest China, indicated a yield increase of over 10% in comparison to local varieties as well as higher resistance to diseases and insect pests.

Pakistan has already seen good outcomes from the planting of Longya Nos. 11, 14, and 15. Zhao Wei, a researcher at the Crop Research Institute of GAAS, expressed confidence in the Longya series' capacity to endure drought and boost output in Pakistan's climatic circumstances.

Spring sowing of Sino maize-soybean intercropping tech completed to stimulate local oilseed production​

By Thea Wadeyla | Gwadar Pro Mar 27, 2023

BAHAWALPUR, Mar. 27 (Gwadar Pro) - The spring sowing of maize-soybean strip intercropping technology, a high-yielding solution from China and optimized based on Pakistan's local conditions by young Pakistani scientists, is just completed in Pakistan. According to the National Research Center of Intercropping (NRCI), the Islamia University of Bahawalpur (IUB), the total area under cultivation with this technology this season is more than 1,100 acres across the country.
Spring sowing of Sino maize-soybean intercropping tech completed to stimulate local oilseed production

Large-scale field demonstration of maize-soybean strip intercropping technology in Bahawalpur. [Photo/Muhammad Ali Raza]
The Chinese maize-soybean strip intercropping technology was introduced to Pakistan in 2018 by Dr. Muhammad Ali Raza, a post-doc who graduated from Sichuan Agricultural University (SAU), China and now acts as the Director of NRCI. Compared with the 400-acre land in 2022 spring, the demonstration area this season is increased by 175% year-on-year, a giant leap indeed.
"This year, we have arranged demonstrations in three provinces i.e. Punjab, Sindh, and KPK, and the total number of demonstrations arranged by NRCI is 71," Dr. Muhammad Ali Raza told Gwadar Pro.
More specifically, in Punjab, maize-soybean strip intercropping trials are being carried out at 50 different locations, including Khairpur Tammewali, Bahawalpur, Pakpattan, Vehari, Gojra, Sheikhupura, Layyah, Loudhran, etc. In Sindh, they have arranged 15 demonstrations trials at Badin, Hydrabad, Tandojam, Jam Shoro, etc. In KPK, 6 demonstrations have been arranged at Charsada, Swabi, and Mardan.
Remarkably, it's learned that over 600 Pakistani farmers have contacted the scientists of NRCI through phone/online to inquire about the possibilities of using maize-soybean strip intercropping technology on their own land.
"These trials will play a significant role in raising awareness of this intercropping system as well as its benefits among farmers and policymakers," Dr. Muhammad Ali Raza said. Besides maize and soybean, various kinds of crops such as wheat, sugarcane, rapeseed, clover and chickpea are also being included in the intercropping research under NRCI, which shows the local scientists' ambition to improve crop yields and soil productivity in Pakistan.
Spring sowing of Sino maize-soybean intercropping tech completed to stimulate local oilseed production

Field demonstration of wheat-chickpea strip intercropping system at the National Research Center of Intercropping (NRCI). [Photo/Muhammad Ali Raza]

Chinese company to establish breeding farms, health units across Pakistan​

By Fatima Javed | Gwadar Pro Apr 12, 2023

GWADAR, Apr. 12 (Gwadar Pro) - According to China Overseas Port Holding Company (COPHC), Hangeng Trading Co., Ltd., a Chinese company specialized in animal husbandry, livestock and Aloe Vera is establishing breeding research centers and health units across Pakistan to improve the country’s agriculture and livestock industry.
In an interview with Gwadar Pro, Ali Bukhari, Coordinator of COPHC, said that the company has signed MOUs with the federal and provincial governments in animal husbandry and livestock, as they are interested in investing in these sectors to develop breeding farms and animal health units.
He said that the Chinese expert team of professors will bring breeding technology and animal vaccines to Pakistan. They will hold workshops and seminars to educate students and farmers. The animal vaccine will be easily accessible to local farmers and because of the vaccine the farmers can keep their animals safe from the effects of climate change.
Bukhari said that agreements will be signed with universities of each province. In Rahim Yar Khan, Punjab the construction of a breeding farm along with a animal health care unit is already under construction while KPK breeding farm will start soon.
Khawaja Fareed University of Engineering and Information Technology, Rahim Yar Khan (KFUEIT) and HanGeng will jointly establish a breeding research center at KFUEIT which will work on livestock farming, breeding center, student training programs and research on different varieties of Aloe Vera, he added.
Chinese company to establish breeding farms, health units across Pakistan

Andy Liao, CEO of Hangeng at KFUEIT [Photo/Gwadar Pro]
The representative of COPHC said that MOUs have also been signed with some other Pakistani universities including Lasbella University, Balochistan and University of Agriculture, Faisalabad. These joint agreements between the two countries will improve agriculture and livestock breeding practices in Pakistan.
Ali Bukhari believed that with Pakistan having significant potential in these sectors, the transfer of advanced technologies and expertise could potentially help enhance productivity, efficiency, and overall output. The Chinese animal vaccines can prevent the spread of diseases and improve the health of livestock.
“The Chinese enterprises are expected to bring huge employment opportunities in our agriculture and livestock sectors. They are employing local people as they deal with animal husbandry and livestock. Their business link is directly with the locals, especially farmers,” he concluded.

Chinese seed company starts trial of single and triple gene Chinese Bt cotton varieties at CCRI Multan farms​

By Shafqat Ali | Gwadar Pro Apr 13, 2023

MULTAN, Apr. 13 (Gwadar Pro) -A Chinese seed company Jinghua Wednesday afternoon started trial of single and triple gene Chinese Bt cotton varieties in the farms of Central Cotton Research Institute (CCRI) Multan to assess how these high yielding, long staple and disease resistant varieties respond to the Pakistani soil and climatic conditions.
Cooperation between Pakistani and Chinese agriculture scientists would benefit Pakistani cotton economy in a big way, said CCRI Multan Director Dr Zhid Mahmood in a statement.
Earlier, Dr Zahid Mahmood, accompanied by other scientists witnessed the seed trial of Chinese seed company Jinghua along with company representative Mr. Li.
On this occasion, Mr. Li said that the trial of single and triple gene Chinese varieties was aimed at promoting mechanized farming, high density planting and producing best quality fibre cotton in Pakistan.
Detailing characteristics, Mr. Li mentioned that these varieties were Glyfosate free, and have resistance against bollworms particularly the pink bollworm. Moreover, the varieties also possess resistance against Cotton Leaf Curl Virus, he added.
Dr Zahid Mahmood in his remarks said that trial was aimed at studying the characteristics of these single and triple gene varieties in the Pakistani weather conditions hit by climate change phenomenon and their data would be compiled throughout the season by Pakistani scientists.
He informed that trial plants have a row-to-row distance of 75cm and plant-to-plant distance maintained at just 4 cm. It is a kind of crop with a five-month growth cycle, he remarked.
As part of continuing cooperation with Pakistani scientists, Mr. Li maintained that the company intends to begin trials of three fully virus-free varieties at CCRI Multan next year.
CCRI Multan scientists Dr. Muhammad Naveed Afzal, Dr Fayyaz Ahmad, and technology transfer head Sajid Mahmood were also present.


Pak-China collaboration helps Pakistan combat water woes:​

April 17, 2023

ISLAMABAD: Pak-China collaboration could help Pakistan combat water woes.

“Pakistan is among the top ten most vulnerable countries to climate change. One of the consequences of climate change is water scarcity. China-Pakistan water cooperation can help Pakistan cope with climate change and its derived disasters by managing water sources through the application of technical means”, said Dr. Muhammad Ashraf, Chairman of the Pakistan Council of Research in Water Resources (PCRWR) according to a report published by Gwadar Pro on Sunday.

The UN Children’s Fund (UNICEF) said last month that more than 10 million people, including children, still lack access to safe drinking water after the catastrophic flood in 2022. Flooding, the worst in 30 years, is threatening even the soil and vast groundwater reserves.

Pakistan has a chronic water shortage problem, which has been exacerbated by the floods.

Since the floods began, the China-Pakistan Youth Exchange Community has been providing food, temporary shelters, and drinking water stations in the worst-affected areas. In the flood-ravaged Dadu district, where many families have been displaced, the community has constructed 260 tent villages and is constructing a purified water station, which will provide clean water to nearly 10,000 people across eight villages.

Ma Bin, head of the community, said improving water management and infrastructure requires a lot of money, and he called for more assistance from Chinese and international organizations.

Last year, PCRWR signed a strategic cooperation agreement with China Water Resources Beifang Investigation, Design, and Research Co. Ltd. (BIDR) to contribute to Pakistan’s development in water management and smart irrigation.

Dr. Ashraf told Gwadar Pro that fruitful exchanges and cooperation had been held in the water sector, and the next step was to demonstrate and disseminate these technologies to a wider range of stakeholders in Pakistan, including universities, farming families, and communities.

The scientific and green water management measures adopted in China in recent years are delivering significant benefits. Chinese enterprises are constantly exploring new modes of efficient water recycling and smart agriculture.

Dr. Ashraf said that PCRWR is trying to introduce the concept of agricultural services in Pakistan, make these services more widespread, and gradually realize the transfer of technology from China to Pakistan.

Dr Muhammad Ashraf, commenting on the outcomes of water cooperation under CPEC, stated that these hydropower projects helped regulate water within the Pakistani system, particularly by storing water during periods of high flow and using it in subsequent years and over a long period of time. In the long run, this will aid in the resolution of Pakistan’s water scarcity crisis, which is expected to reach critical proportions by 2025.

“China has established sound mechanisms for water resource cooperation with its neighbors, including Pakistan, and Pakistan can learn from the effectiveness of China’s water diplomacy in cooperating with neighboring countries to manage cross-border water resources,” Dr. Ashraf continued.

Dr. Manzoor H. Soomro, an eminent scientist and academician, lauded the Global Civilization Initiative proposed by Chinese President Xi Jinping, saying that Chinese modernization provided Chinese solutions to human development, including water resource management.

He stressed that the maintenance of infrastructure, including roads, dams, and hydropower stations, the training of staff, and the capacity building of local people and engaging youth in this process are more important for successful sustainable development after the projects.

Hybrid wheat cooperation to enhance risk resistance in agri sector​

By Wu Siya | China Economic Net
Apr 18, 2023

LAHORE, Apr. 18 (China Economic Net)- “Dreadful. I’ve never seen such violent hailstones in my life,” Majid Rafiq, a wheat farmer from the Mandi Bahauddin district in Punjab province, sighing sadly as he gazed at the lodged wheat ears in his field. “Whole harvest has been destroyed.

The wheat was supposed to be harvested in less than a month, but now the hail has broken stalks, then the broken places will rot downward rapidly. So sad to say, it's worth nothing.”

Hybrid wheat cooperation to enhance risk resistance in agri sector

A Pakistani wheat farmer checking disaster situation in his field [Photo provided to CEN]

Pakistan is embracing wheat harvest season. However, in some areas, unexpected climate disasters wiped out farmers’ toil for a whole year. Not all of Pakistan’s wheat industry has been hit, but for farmers in the affected areas, “the rotting straw can’t even be used as silage.

I have no idea how many other farmers are like me because there is no accurate assessment report yet. But to my knowledge, the southern part of Punjab, Layyah, Kot Addu and other areas have been hit sorely by hailstones. Relevant departments must do something to solve the food shortage. We are in desperate need of help,” Nasar Gondal, District President of local agriculture enterprise Kissan Ittehad, spoke bluntly in an interview with China Economic Net.

Wheat industry in critical juncture

Official projections showed that wheat production in Punjab, main producing area that produces 77 percent of wheat, is set to witness a major blow during the current FY 2022-23, amid negative impacts of climate change as well as crop substitution, sowing other crops than wheat for profitability.

Hybrid wheat cooperation to enhance risk resistance in agri sector

Distribution of wheat producing areas in Pakistan [Source: PBS]

Crop substitution was towards maize and oilseeds mainly due to better prices, Secretary Ministry of National Food Security & Research Zafar Hassan stated. Because of the lack of good varieties and low yields, it is hard for farmers to sell their wheat at a good price.

The wheat production is likely to remain around 26.7 million tonnes as against the envisaged wheat production target of 28.4 million tonnes. According to statistic from PBS, Pakistan’s wheat suffers from chronic low yields. At 3.5 tons per hectare, world average yield is 20 percent higher than Pakistan’s-2.9 tons per hectare.

Worse still, there is a looming shortage of wheat in the next fiscal year as well. The government will have to count on the import of wheat in order to meet the domestic requirements of staple food. “We have no other option but to import 3-3.5 million tonnes of wheat for the next fiscal year, which is more than the import target of 2.6 million tonnes of wheat for the current fiscal year,” emphasized a top official.

Hybrid wheat cooperation to enhance risk resistance in agri sector

Pakistan wheat yields [Source: PBS]

Moreover, another extreme weather, heatwave, is likely to hit Pakistan in the next two months, which had negatively impacted wheat production by at least 10 to 12 percent in the last financial year.

Cooperation as a cure: hybrid varieties

“It is learned that so far, the Chinese team’s hybrid wheat demonstration fields in Pakistan have been maintained at about 3,000-5,000 hectares, extending from Peshawar and Islamabad in the north, Lahore in the center to Karachi in the south,” Prof Zhao Changping, Chief Scientist of Hybrid Wheat Research Institute, Beijing Academy of Agriculture and Forestry Sciences (BAAFS) told the reporter, “it is true that we have only taken first step for a country’s wheat industry, but ensuring Pakistan’s food security through variety improvement is our long-term strategic task.”

“Although hailstone is an occasional extreme weather that cannot be effectively resisted from the perspective of breeding, it can at least minimize the impact of disasters by promoting production and increasing yield,” added Prof Zhang Shengquan, Deputy Director of the Hybrid Wheat Research Institute of BAAFS.

“As for our selected hybrid wheat combinations, such as new variety BH1683 (Pakistani name: JM1683), have increased by more than 20 percent in Pakistan for three consecutive years. Even if the sowing amount was reduced by 80-90 percent, it still has the potential to increase yield by 20 percent.”

Hybrid wheat cooperation to enhance risk resistance in agri sector

The hybrid wheat variety JM1683 in the field of Pakistan [Photo provided by Abdul Rasheed]

Declaration of Chinese team has echoed by Pakistani partner. “The single Chinese wheat varieties were not suitable for our hot weather and were also prone to diseases. Nevertheless, using the Pakistani wheat varieties as distant parent to cross with Chinese wheat, the varieties produced are more dominant and we got heterosis of more than 20 percent,” stated Dr. Abdul Rasheed, Chief Research and Development at Guard Agricultural Research and Services Pvt. Ltd., an agricultural enterprise that has established a cooperative relationship with BAAFS since 2013.

When talking about the breeding program, it is learned that four promising hybrids have been selected, out of which two hybrids are being tested in KPK Provincial yield trials, as well as for disease screening at Crop Disease Research Institute (CDRI), Islamabad.

“JM1683 is being grown in all over Punjab and some places of KPK for commercial trials, with an increase in production by more than 20 percent compared with the average yield of common Pakistani wheat, to be precise, is around 2940 kg per hectare,” Dr. Rasheed mentioned, full of hope.

Pakistan, among the “Ten Most Vulnerable Countries” bears the brunt of climate change, except for high seed and fertilizer prices, natural disasters such as floods, high temperatures and hailstones also make its “wheat revolution” more and more imminent.

“So far, we have established test stations in Peshawar, Lahore, and Yuanmou in Yunnan Province, which is very similar to Pakistan’s local climate. In recent years, we have had nearly 50 personnel exchanges with Pakistan, including professors, entrepreneurs and researchers from both sides,” Prof Zhao introduced, “Progress on hybrid wheat is of vital importance to ensure the food security of Pakistan, South Asia, and even the whole world.”

Seed giant: Pak-China hybrid rice collaboration to safeguard food security​

By Wu Siya | China Economic Net
Apr 19, 2023

HEFEI,- “Up to now, our stable annual supply of fine varieties has exceeded 4,000 tons in Pakistan, accounting for more than 40 percent of local hybrid rice seed market,” Chu Linfeng, Deputy General Manager of the Anhui Winall Hi-Tech Seed Co., Ltd., told China Economic Net in an exclusive interview, burst with pride. The annual early-maturing rice planting season is just a month away in the South Asian country.

Seed giant: Pak-China hybrid rice collaboration to safeguard food security

Hybrid rice breeding and promotion evaluation meeting [Photo/Winall]

Lately, the latest batch of 200 tons of hybrid rice seeds was on its way to Pakistan. Since entering the Pakistani hybrid rice seed market in 2007, the company in Anhui Province has always put high-yielding, high-temperature-resistant and stress-resistant hybrid rice varieties as the top priority for promotion,

Chu told the reporter. “Besides high temperatures, drought, salinity, pests and diseases, none of these obstacles can prevent hybrid rice from thriving here. In general, we always arrange the shipment of seeds in advance. From November last year to April this year, our seeds have been dispatched in time as planned.”

In order to adapt to the local climate as well as keep the yield stable, China and Pakistan practitioners have carried out in-depth cooperation, so as to overcome breeding challenge. “Rainfall in Pakistan is concentrated in July-September, and the country has a very large area receives an annual rainfall of less than 150 mm. Thus, the local demands for high temperature and drought tolerance of rice varieties are urgent.

As the impact of global climate change becomes increasingly severe, pests and diseases caused by unstable climate also pose great challenges to agriculture. We have carried out long-term testing and screening of improved varieties, and provided supporting technology training for partners, causing satisfactory results,” Chu added.

Abdul Rasheed, the Chief Research and Development Officer in Guard Agriculture Research and Services, indicated that rice generally matures between 30 to 40 degree Celsius, but with the hybrid technology it could even bear 40 to 50 degree Celsius. It consumes less water that reduces the overall cost making it cost effective as well.

Moreover, it matures in 95 to 100 days while the ordinary rice takes around 120 days and due to shorter maturity period hybrid rice crop “consumes less irrigation as compared to traditional rice varieties,” Rasheed added.

Seed giant: Pak-China hybrid rice collaboration to safeguard food security

Pakistani hybrid rice farmers in the field [Photo/Winall]

It is learned that the main cultivation area of Winall hybrid rice is located in Sindh province, as well as a small amount in Punjab province. What is nice is the yield per mu is generally 650 to 800 kg (9750 to 12000 kg per hectare). “In 2021, we exported more than 4,500 tons of hybrid rice seeds to Pakistan, and the highest-yielding variety increase the yield by about 30 percent compared with local varieties,” emphasized Jiang Sanqiao, Vice GM of Winall Group.

Teaching one to fish is better than giving him fish. Since 2019, Winall and Huazhong Agricultural University of China have jointly established the International Cooperation Class, training agricultural talents in Pakistan and other countries for three consecutive years, and expanding the blueprint for agricultural cooperation under the framework of the Belt and Road Initiative. “In addition, through the collection, identification and application of overseas germplasm resources, we are committed to developing more high-yielding varieties, which means that there is great potential for agricultural cooperation along the BRI.”

Hybrid rice, which has helped Pakistan improve food security, get rid of poverty and even earn foreign exchange, won wide acclaim. According to the Pakistan’s Ministry of Commerce, rice is the largest agro export commodity in the export basket of the country with a total export of over USD 2 bln annually.

“Next, we will carry out more in-depth agricultural cooperation in all aspects. Last August, Anhui Province and Pakistan have jointly established the Agricultural International Cooperation Alliance to promote agricultural enterprises in various fields in Anhui Province to conduct business in Pakistan,” noted Chu.

Farm machines at Canton Fair attract Pakistani buyers​

By Saira Iqbal | Gwadar Pro
Apr 27, 2023

GUANGZHOU - During the 133rd China Import and Export Fair, also known as Canton Fair, a section for agricultural machines attracted a lot of Pakistani buyers.

Electric trolley is one of the devices that interest visitors the most. “It can carry more weight, and it is auto-controlled. The traditional trolley we use in Pakistan is completely different from that.” A Pakistani buyer said. “You can see how innovative they have made it by installing a motor and hydraulic system in a small trolley. It also fits small-scale farmers. It can have a huge market in Pakistan.” He added.

The booth said that the electric trolley normally works with an electric wood breaker. “It can break wood into small pieces. You can give commands through the control panel about how small the pieces you want to cut the wood into. You can also convert it into sawdust. The output will automatically fall into this trolley.” The exhibitor introduced.

Federal Minister for Industries and Production in Pakistan, Syed Murtaza Mahmud recently stressed the importance of farm mechanization. He also encouraged converting raw products into value-added products to promote agribusiness.
Automatic grinder is a widely used machine for value-added agricultural products in China. “

It is very interesting that you can put whatever crop in it, like wheat, spices, even meat. Here all of your demands for the machine will be met, whatever power and capacity you want,” said another Pakistani buyer. “I think the products at Canton Fair are of good quality with fair prices. When you place orders in large quantity, the price will be fairer.”

In this place, we can find a lot of advanced devices that can be introduced to Pakistan, which are essential for increasing the agricultural productivity of the country. Hope these new technologies can give Pakistan more inspiration to make agribusiness more productive and profitable.

Digital Agri Expo opens a window for sustainable agriculture coop: NUST Principal​

Staff Reporter | China Economic Net
Apr 29, 2023

WEIFANG, Apr. 29 (China Economic Net)-“Undoubtedly, the Smart Agriculture Expo has opened up a brand-new path for sustainable agriculture worldwide in the future,” Dr Hussain Ahmad Janjua, Principal, Atta-ur-Rahman School of Applied Biosciences (ASAB), National University of Sciences and Technology, Pakistan, praised during an interview with the China Economic Net.

Digital Agri Expo opens a window for sustainable agriculture coop: NUST Principal

At the just-concluded first World Expo on Digital Agriculture held in Weifang, Shandong, NUST showcased agricultural technologies including cotton virus prevention and control, plant vaccines, climate change monitoring equipment, agricultural product transportation and preservation, lookimg forward to all-round and in-depth cooperation with Chinese agricultural enterprises and universities.

“We have signed a contract with Weifang Engineering Vocational College, carrying out cooperation on crop fertilizers, such as the application of ecological organic fertilizers in the fields,” Dr Janjua introduced, “in addition, we have just visited Qingzhou Jiuzhou Farm Vegetable Cooperative, which impressed me greatly. We are very interested in their vegetable greenhouse technology.

A series of agricultural APP they developed for monitoring the real-time status of the field is also a technology that we are very happy to apply in Pakistan, by which researchers and farmers can accurately monitor the biotic and abiotic stress on plants.”

Digital Agri Expo opens a window for sustainable agriculture coop: NUST Principal

Digital Agri Expo opens a window for sustainable agriculture coop: NUST Principal

“For agricultural by-product processing, wheat gene editing, soil microbiology, rice planting and processing, etc., all of which NUST is currently researching, but has not yet cooperated with China. To my way of thinking, these are promising fields.” Dr Janjua told the reporter that how to deal with climate change in the agricultural field is a hot issue that is of great concern to the whole world and China has made great achievements in this regard. “If we can cooperate with our friends in smart agriculture to tackle climate change, it will be so meaningful.”

The three-day 2023 World Expo on Digital Agriculture opened on April 25, attracting a total of 118 domestic exhibitors, as well as 40 enterprises and organizations from 22 countries including agricultural developed countries-Germany, Israel, the Netherlands, Japan, the United States, Australia, and ASEAN and Shanghai Cooperation Organization.

Chinese tech upgrading Pakistan’s Agricultural industry:​

May 19, 2023

During his visit to the headquarters of the Pak-China red chili project in Sichuan Province, China, Moin ul Haque expressed that the agricultural initiatives implemented under the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor have had a positive impact on enhancing local agricultural technology and modernizing Pakistan’s agricultural industry.

Chen Changwei, the chairman of Sichuan Litong Food Company, shared his perspective, stating that Pakistan possesses significant potential to export dried chili to China due to the trade preferences established between the two nations. Sichuan Litong Food Company has contributed its expertise in chili cultivation and management techniques to Pakistan, further facilitating this opportunity.

“Agricultural projects under China-Pakistan Economic Corridor have a positive impact on improving local agricultural technology and upgrading Pakistan’s agricultural industry,” said Moin ul Haque, while visiting the headquarter of Pak-China red chili project in Sichuan Province in China.

According to Chen Changwei, chairman of Sichuan Litong Food Company, which has brought its chili cultivation experience and management techniques to Pakistan, Pakistan has a great potential to export dried chilli to China with the trade preferences between the two countries.

15,000 acres of chili planted in South Punjab in 2023 have already been picked, with 10,000 tons of dried peppers expected to be harvested in the second half of 2023.

After 3 years of demonstration planting, a growing number of farmers are seeing the quality and economic benefits of chili.

The success of the demonstration base for chili cultivation is attracting more attention from local small and medium-sized farmers through surveys, trial planting, small-scale planting and large-scale planting.

The ambassador also visited the production and R&D center of Pixian Douban, a major bean paste production base of Litong. Pixian Douban, made of Sichuan red chili, is an intangible cultural heritage of China. Chen expressed his willingness to extend the industrial chain to Pakistan.

Chen added that the company has invested in a preliminary chili processing plant in Pakistan to facilitate the cultivation, promotion and trade of agricultural products such as sorghum, sesame and peanuts, so that more Pakistani agricultural products can be involved in the global supply chain.

LoI on China-Pakistan agricultural S&T collaboration signed​

May 23, 2023

SHANGHAI: The Shanghai Academy of Agricultural Sciences (SAAS) and the University of Agriculture, Faisalabad (UAF) have signed a Letter of Intent (LoI) on China-Pakistan agricultural science and technology collaboration. This milestone agreement signifies a new era of agricultural cooperation between the two countries.

The LoI outlines the intention of both institutions to collaborate on joint teaching, training, research, and other mutually agreed activities. The goal is to strengthen the program and foster a closer relationship between SAAS and UAF.

Areas of collaboration specified in the LoI include post-harvest treatment of agricultural products, integrated pest management in crops such as rice, corn, and nut fruits, understanding the molecular mechanisms of pests and their interaction with agricultural products, utilization of agricultural resources, germplasm evaluation, deployment of specialty maize hybrids, and more.
The signing ceremony was witnessed by SAAS President Professor Cai Youming and UAF Vice Chancellor Dr Iqrar Ahmad Khan.

Prof Khan expressed his enthusiasm for learning from China’s expertise in post-harvest processing, biological breeding, product innovation, technical services, and knowledge transfer.
The aim is to leverage each other’s strengths and establish a robust mechanism for exchange and cooperation.

This collaboration holds great promise for the agricultural sectors of both countries. By sharing knowledge, expertise, and resources, China and Pakistan can work together to address common challenges and drive innovation in the field of agriculture. The LoI signing marks a significant step towards deepening bilateral ties and unlocking new opportunities for growth and development in the agricultural sector.

Chinese chilli seeds give higher yields

The Newspaper's
May 31, 2023

 Red Sky variety of hybrid Chinese chillies grown at a model farm in Multan.—Dawn

Red Sky variety of hybrid Chinese chillies grown at a model farm in Multan.

LAHORE: A local agriculture research company claims to have harvested three-fold more yield from Chinese hybrid chilli varieties in successful cultivation projects in Sindh and Punjab.

“We have successfully reaped 75 maunds per acre yield of chillies crop from three different Chinese varieties in the local environment against 25-30 maunds produced by indigenous seeds,” says Dr Abdul Rashid, a farm scientist of the Guard Agricultural Research & Services.

The Chinese hybrid varieties whose fruit is over six inches long had been sown on 7,500 acres in different districts of Sindh and Punjab and will be cultivated on at least 30,000 acres in the next season, Dr Rashid informed Dawn during a visit to a model chillies farm on Monday.

He says that Chinese company LTEC is collaborating with Guard to improve the productivity of local crops and that all chilli yield will be purchased from the growers for its onward export to China.

CPEC brings green revolution in Pakistan​

June 1, 2023

ISLAMABAD-China has been assisting Pakistan in modernizing its agriculture sector by sharing advanced farming technologies, promoting agricultural research, and facilitating knowledge exchange. This cooperation has helped enhance agricultural productivity, improve crop yields, and optimize resource utilization in Pakistan, said Adnan Khan, a representative of the CPEC Authority.

Talking to WealthPK, he said both the countries had established strong cooperation in the agriculture sector. There is collaboration on everything from technology transfer to infrastructure development to research and development, he added.

“Through joint ventures and investments, both the countries will develop irrigation systems, storage facilities, and processing plants. These initiatives aim to improve the overall agricultural value chain and enhance the quality and marketability of Pakistani agricultural products,” he said.

“The China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) has also played a crucial role in boosting agricultural cooperation. The Corridor has facilitated the development of economic zones, industrial parks, and transportation networks, creating favorable conditions for agricultural trade and investment between the two countries,” the CPEC Authority official said.

The agriculture sector has emerged as a direct or indirect beneficiary of the CPEC via development in backward and forward linkages. It has been the backbone of low-income economies and is generally the primary source of income and employment in rural areas.

This vital sector has been facing a downfall during the last one decade. As of last year, it has gained manifold traction under China-Pakistan agriculture cooperation, promising phenomenal agricultural growth.

Given the comprehensive spectrum of cooperation under the ‘CPEC Green Corridor’ throughout the year 2022, this sector has recorded a remarkable growth of 4.4% and surpassed the target of 3.5% as well as last year’s growth of 3.48% during FY2022
Additionally, the growing Pak-China trade ties have opened up new avenues for agricultural exports. Pakistan can tap into the vast Chinese market by exporting various agricultural products such as fruits, vegetables, seafood, and processed food items.
This bilateral cooperation will not only benefit the agricultural sectors of both countries but also contribute to regional food security, economic development, and poverty alleviation.

Chinese, Pakistani researchers' innovative endophyte-meditated approach to citrus greening in China and beyond​

By Xiong Weisheng | China Economic Net
Jun 1, 2023

KUNMING, May 31 (China Economic Net) - A tiny insect no bigger than a grain of rice is spreading Huanglongbing (HLB), or citrus greening disease, to citrus trees across the globe, with more than 10 million diseased trees destroyed all over China each year and over $1.3 billion in lost revenue to the citrus industry over the last five years in Florida, US, according to researchers.

In a bid to reverse this trend, Shahzad Munir, a Pakistani researcher based in China's Yunnan Agricultural University, is working with a team of Chinese scientists headed by Prof. Dr. He Yueqiu to spearhead innovative research into the biological control of this century-old malaise and has pioneered the use of endophytes to contain the virus.

Endophytes are a unique kind of bacteria or fungi that live inside a plant, but unlike the bacteria that cause HLB, they pose no harm to the plant and can be beneficial to plant growth, Munir explained to China Economic Net (CEN) in an interview.

Primarily focusing on utilising endophyte-mediated resistance to combat citrus greening, Munir told CEN reporter that an indigenous endophyte, Bacillus subtilis L1-21, has been isolated from healthy citrus trees, and that in the past six years, the endophyte “has been tested and demonstrated in nearly 164 acres of citrus fields across China with promising results, and has been developed into commercial products on a large scale.”

The Pakistani researcher highlighted that the applicability of these findings is also significant for his home country Pakistan, which is also grappling with HLB. "Unfortunately, limited work has been done in Pakistan for managing this disease on a large scale," the researcher lamented.

The researcher sees the potential for the successful implementation of this endophytic technology in Pakistan. "The endophyte we used in our research could easily be applicable in most citrus-growing regions worldwide. We had plans to transfer our technology to Pakistan, but these were delayed due to the COVID-19 pandemic."

In recognition of his ground-breaking work, the researcher was recently honoured with The Yunnan Friendship Award, an honourary title that is typically presented to foreigners making huge scholarly and technological contributions to Yunnan. Reflecting on this achievement, he said, "This is a very proud moment for me.

However, it's important to remember that all these outstanding contributions were made possible through the dedication of our research group under the supervision of professor He Yueqiu."

Munir’s work exemplifies the crucial role of international cooperation in addressing global agricultural issues. His innovative approach may not only help reclaim citrus groves in China and Pakistan but could potentially benefit citrus farmers worldwide.

PKR 2.5 Billion pivot irrigation project converts Thal desert into cultivable land​

By Fatima Javed
Jun 8, 2023

THAL, Jun.8, (Gwadar Pro)-The Pakistan-China joint venture, a PKR 2.5 billion pivot irrigation project, has effectively transformed 5,000 acres of the Thal desert into fertile green cultivable land.

Dr. Rana Fartab Shoukat, the Farm Manager at Samsons Agri Farms Rungpur, expressed during an interview with Gwadar Pro that the two-year-long Centre Pivot Project, collaborated between China's Haier and Pakistan's Samson's Group, has resulted in the successful cultivation of various crops and trees, including Rhodes grass, wheat, alfalfa, orchards, citrus fruits, mangoes, guavas, bamboo, olives, dates, and Bari.

PKR 2.5 Billion pivot irrigation project converts Thal desert into cultivable land

The satellite image of the green land in heart of Thal desert, Punjab Pakistan

The project is situated in the Thal desert of Rangpur Muzaffarabad, Punjab province, and is equipped with state-of-the-art agricultural water-efficient machinery known as a central pivot system.

Fartab, who holds a PhD in Agricultural Entomology from South China Agricultural University in Guangzhou, mentioned that they have two central pivots covering an area of 100 acres each, while the remaining seven central pivots span 132 acres each.

"The land was entirely desert, so we conducted soil sampling. The water condition was extremely poor, with no nutrients present in the soil," Fartab explained.

PKR 2.5 Billion pivot irrigation project converts Thal desert into cultivable land

The improved soil structure of the desert to cultivate more crops.

He stated, "We planted our own Rhodes grass on the central pivots, for which we prepare compost using animal manure, poultry manure, and sugar beet or sugar cane mud. We create a proper compost mixture that includes earthworms, which serves as a fertilizer, thereby reducing the need for basic fertilizers like urea or MP."

"In areas where central pivots cannot be used, we employ drip irrigation methods. Previously, another company handled this for us, but now we have our own team responsible for its preparation," he added.

Fartab further mentioned that in addition to various types of oranges, they also cultivate between 1,500 and 2,500 date plants and guava. They are also undertaking a bamboo pilot project, and if successful, they plan to expand it in the future.

PKR 2.5 Billion pivot irrigation project converts Thal desert into cultivable land

He emphasized that in areas where pivoting was not possible, they were engaged in forestry and plantation activities to promote a natural and stable ecosystem in those particular areas of land.

He expressed his satisfaction that people have begun to pay attention to this aspect, stating that to effectively address food shortages, it is crucial to improve desert cultivation methods. He mentioned, "I have previously implemented the same approach in China as well. Essentially, if we want to avoid food security issues and ensure an adequate food supply, we must improve our desert cultivation practices."

PKR 2.5 Billion pivot irrigation project converts Thal desert into cultivable land

This transformative initiative has not only created significant employment opportunities for local communities but has also resulted in a substantial increase in Pakistan's foreign exchange earnings. According to the Farm Manager, the joint venture has generated considerable employment opportunities for local residents, offering both permanent and daily wage jobs. The project employs approximately 270 individuals, including executives, farm managers, accountants, laborers, pivot operators, pivot maintenance staff, and 10 agrarians.

Center pivot irrigation systems have a longer lifespan of 40-50 years compared to drip irrigation systems, which typically last 5-8 years. This system proves to be efficient, especially in dealing with weather anomalies such as frost and heatwaves, thanks to its overhead irrigation systems with controllers.

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