Economic growth is sown in the CPEC Agri corridor.

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Economic growth is sown in the CPEC Agri corridor.

According to a report released by Gwadar Pro on Saturday, as 2022 approaches, the agriculture sector has received several tractions under China-Pakistan agriculture cooperation, which promises extraordinary agro growth over all of Pakistan.

Given the extensive range of collaboration under the “CPEC Green Corridor” throughout the year in 2022, the agriculture sector has seen an impressive growth of 4.4% and outperformed both the objective of 3.5% and the growth of 3.48% last year during FY2022.

Economic Survey reports that the agriculture sector experienced growth of 4.4%, exceeding the aim of 3.5%.

This astounding development is largely due to China’s assistance to Pakistan in a variety of areas, including the transfer of practical knowledge in the areas of intercropping, high-yield seeds, pest control, hybrid cultivation, corporate farming, innovative irrigation technique, agri machinery training, agri research & development, protocol for Pak agri exports to China, digital farming, and agri labor skills.

Pakistan’s agricultural exports to China from January to August 2022 were $730 million, a year over year growth of 28.59%, as Sino-Pak agriculture continued to deepen in 2022.

The value of Pakistan’s agricultural exports to China is anticipated to surpass $1 billion next year.

CPEC Green Corridor will continue to put emphasis on improving land cultivation area, water management, better access to markets for inputs (seeds, fertilizer, farm mechanization, credit, water), and outputs next year. Additionally, improved infrastructure, such as storage and cooling facilities, a decrease in post-harvest losses, increased investment in research, development, and extension, and improved quality and fulfillment will all be priorities.

Speaking volumes about the importance of agricultural cooperation in CPEC is the launch of three new corridors, including the China-Pakistan Green Corridor (CPGC), which focuses on agricultural environment and food security.

The Sichuan Agricultural University (SAU) and the Islamia University of Bahawalpur (IUB) jointly built Intercropping Research Center, which was officially opened in 2021, had outstanding achievements in the 2022 growing season.

The harvest of 65 demonstration sites in Punjab, Sindh, and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa using China’s maize-soybean strip intercropping technology recently ended, according to a news report from a few weeks ago. The intercropped fields produced 8,490 kg and 889 kg of maize and soybeans per hectare, respectively.

The intercropping technology unquestionably generates significantly larger economic benefits when compared to the production of simply cropped maize and soybeans at these 65 sites, which are 8,995 kg and 1,531 kg per hectare, respectively.

The researchers are also working on strip intercropping systems for canola-pea, potato-maize, canola-pea, sugarcane-soybean, sugarcane-mustard, wheat-mustard, and wheat-soybean.

In June 2022, the CPEC-Agriculture Cooperation Centre (ACC), a newly established center at the Arid Agriculture University Rawalpindi (AAUR), announced that it would do policy research, help Chinese enterprises operate in the agriculture sector, and promote institutional cooperation. Pakistan is eager to increase banana output with Chinese assistance.

Nosherwan Haider, CEO of Sprouts Biotech Laboratories, claims that China makes up about 4.5% of the world banana market whereas Pakistan contributes less than 0.5%.

Another important aspect of agricultural cooperation between Pakistan and China is cotton germplasm. China and Pakistan have worked together for a long time to collect and catalog cotton germplasm resources.

The Institute of Cotton Research (ICR) of the Chinese Academy of Agricultural Sciences (CAAS) collaborated with the Cotton Research Institute (CRI), Multan, the University of Agriculture Faisalabad (UAF), as well as a few other colleges and academic institutions to identify which cotton germplasms are resistant to heat, drought, diseases, and insect pests in various locations and environments.

In July 2022, an online agreement was signed by Tianjin Modern Vocational Technology College (TMVTC), China, and MNS-University of Agriculture, Multan (MNSUAM), Pakistan, for the Luban Workshop’s agricultural machinery training program in Pakistan.

In order to advance scientific technological exchanges and collaboration on agricultural equipment, genetic resources, and agricultural environments, the two universities will work together.

Sichuan Litong Food Co., Ltd.’s Zhang Jishu earlier this year declared that his business would establish a 1,000-acre pepper crop demonstration garden in Multan for the 2022–2023 growing season.

It plans to take over 15,000 acres of pepper orders in South Punjab in collaboration with regional agribusinesses and Pakistani farmers, with a projected harvest of 30,000 tonnes of dried pepper. The business also plans to build two pepper processing plants in Lahore and Multan, and is looking for suitable locations.

Along with the three primary fundamental foods of the world, sorghum is a crop that is gaining popularity worldwide, thus Pakistan is also attempting to cultivate it.

There was agreement that sorghum is an adaptable crop that may be effective for delivering food and fodder during the Symposium on Sorghum Industry Development of China and Pakistan hosted in 2022.

According to Zhu Xiaobo, Executive Member of the Asia and Pacific Seed Association and General Manager of Wuhan Qingfa Hesheng Seed Company, hybrid farming is becoming more prevalent in Pakistan in a number of industries. Her company’s hybrid canola variety has been planted in Pakistan on roughly 10,000 hectares of land, providing food for about 6000 households.

They anticipate it to grow to over 40,000 hectares during the next three to five years, providing Pakistanis with more and better-quality edible oil. Similar to this, Sino-Pak cooperation in growing cauliflower using hybrid seeds is growing.

As Pakistan experienced one of the greatest flood catastrophes in 2022, losing a significant amount of crop produce, Wuhan-based China, a supplier and developer of hybrid seeds, also stated that it will give hybrid rice seeds to lessen the impact of floods on agriculture and food security.

Dr. Ghulam Muhammad Ali, the chairman of the Pakistan Agricultural Research Council (PARC), claims that scientists from Pakistan and China are creating hybrid wheat varieties to increase the average productivity and output of Pakistan’s crops and to lessen the damage brought on by the floods.

The Punjab cabinet approved the leasing out of state land for corporate farming as part of the CPEC project in the first week of March 2022 in order to facilitate the quick development of the country’s agri-sector.

Agriculturalists claim that the action would revolutionize Pakistan’s farming sector. Direct ownership or leasing of farmland by business entities for the purpose of producing items for their internal processing requirements or for the open market is referred to as corporate farming.

By offering partnerships in organic farming, high-tech agricultural mechanization for both domestic and international markets, the development of precision and high-value agriculture, the development and production of seed technology, the manufacturing of pesticide and fertilizer units along the CPEC route, and value-added processing facilities, the Punjab Agriculture Department also made an effort to entice Chinese investment through the initiative.

At an online ceremony held in Beijing and Kunming in June 2022, PARC and Yunnan Academy of Agricultural Sciences (YAAS) signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) to boost agricultural cooperation between Pakistan and China. YAAS specializes in pest management and plant protection.

China’s thorough and rapid aid in combating locust swarms in recent times helped to avert a food crisis in the nation’s southern areas. Collaborations in precision agriculture and early warning systems should be further increased to improve crop output, climate resilience, water management, and help in the battle against natural calamities like locust infestation.

Given that China’s digital agro-economy is expected to reach over $100 billion, Pakistan would be more interested in obtaining aid in climate-smart agriculture. Therefore, using state-of-the-art information technology could aid in a third green revolution.

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