‘CPEC Could Help Pakistan Fulfill Its Food Security Needs’, Experts believe
Till 2013, Pakistan was a food exporting country. After that, it became a food importing country.
China-Pakistan Economic Corridor is improving Pakistan’s relations with China and over 60 other countries. These countries are a part of the land route of China’s Belt and Road Initiative. This initiative involves infrastructure development and investments.
As the second phase of the Chinese project is coming up with opportunities to collaborate in the social sector, emphasis should be laid on the development of the country’s agriculture sector. This sector has the potential for trade and growth.
The message arose from a policy dialogue on ‘National Agriculture and Food Security in Pakistan’. The event was held at the Institute of Policy Studies (IPS) in collaboration with the Pakistan Agriculture Scientists Forum (PAS Forum).
Chairman Pakistan Agriculture Research Council (PARC) Dr. Muhammad Azeem khan addressed the session. He did so along with ex-chairman of Pakistan Council for Science and Technology (PCST) Dr. Anwar-ul-Hasan Gilani, President of PAS Forum Dr. Abdul Wakeel, Executive President IPS Khalid Rehman and University of Agriculture, Faisalabad Professor Dr. Amanullah Malik.
While presenting an overview of the country’s agriculture sector, Dr. Azeem said there was a need for improving the productivity of numerous potential sub-sectors of agriculture. It will help in Pakistan’s food security concerns and also increase it for international trade.
Till 2013, Pakistan was a food exporting country. After that, it became a food importing country. Khan observed that the second phase of CPEC could help the agriculture sector of the country recover. However, the responsibility lies with the authorities to set targets and impactful strategies carefully to benefit fully from these opportunities.
Dr. Azeem said that the agriculture sector could be improved through the business-oriented model, which could be done through value addition.
He added that combinations of different products being produced along with the CPEC routes increase some prospects in this regard. There is huge potential for export and production of fodder, palm oils, and edible oils. Pulses and oilseeds are some other areas to invest it.