Pakistan-China Agriculture-Corridor could emancipate retreating agro potential of the country: Shah Faisal Afridi

Lahore, February 11, 2016 (PPI-OT): Pak-China Agri-Corridor could emancipate the retreating agro potential of the country. It was stated by Shah Faisal Afridi, president Pak-China joint Chamber of Commerce and Industry in a press statement issued today. CPEC offers a unique opportunity to aligned agriculture sector with market driven agricultural products, he added.

Faisal Afridi urged to formulate policies intended to prioritize agriculture sector in CPEC development projects. Afridi mentioned that the membership of (SCO) Shanghai Cooperation Organization would provide Pakistan an access to a large market to increase its export base, and attract investments in agriculture sector, he added.

Afridi explicated that Agriculture holds great significance for Pakistan. Agricultural sector of Pakistan is making significant contribution to its GDP, foreign exchange earnings through export surplus and tax revenue. Pakistan and China have signed many protocols that paved the way for a significant breakthrough for market access of Pakistani food items in China, hence this is golden opportunity to incorporate agriculture sector as a part of CPEC projects, he added.

Mr. Shah Faisal Afridi acknowledged that the country’s leadership initiated policies to strengthen the agricultural sector. He also mentioned that the present government has increased incentives for individual and collective production, devolved certain management functions, and prolonged the role of private organizations and markets.

While highlighting the importance of agriculture, Mr. Shah Faisal Afridi also admired that Agricultural sector is the backbone of our economy, but the growth of agriculture in Pakistan is facing a lot of problems. He mentioned that Food production is still largely a backward sector where skills, research and technology are glaringly lacking.

He appraised that due to various causes like Low per Hectare Yield, Inadequate Infrastructure, Old Methods of Production, lack of irrigation facilities, and inadequate agricultural research in Pakistan, the agriculture sector is not competing the international standards and market. Per acre yield is very low in Pakistan as compared to other developed countries especially China, he added.

Afridi said that China’s example proves that indeed small holder of agriculture land is capable of driving an agricultural revolution in whole country. He said that the exports of agricultural and food products from Pakistan to China increased vividly over the past few years. He also said that Demand in the Chinese market is very wide and covers a whole range of areas where Pakistan has a natural, competitive advantage.

Shah Faisal highlighted that the need to re-design agriculture sector as a knowledge-based enterprise demands smart investments to trigger a multiplier effect in other sectors. He said that farm mechanization is also an important factor required in agriculture development. Mr. Afridi pointed that there is still a huge gap between the level of Pakistan’s agricultural machinery industry and that of the developed countries in the world like China.

He said that the primarily import and then domestic production of agriculture machinery from China and investment in agriculture by Chinese government will play a catalytic role in the development of the Pakistan’s agricultural market. Mr. Afridi articulated that China’s agricultural sector has achieved great successes and this is the best example for Pakistan.

For more information, contact:
Wardah Ali Gohar
Media Manager
Pakistan China Joint Chamber of Commerce and Industry (PCJCCI)
Mega Tower, 309 – 6th Floor,
Main Boulevard, Gulberg II,
Lahore, Punjab – Pakistan
Tel: +92-42-35777460-02, +92-42-37032203, +92-42-35874353
Fax: +92-42-35777524
Cell: +92-324-4925611