ISLAMABAD, FEB 09 (DNA) — Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the Republic of Uzbekistan to the Islamic Republic of Pakistan Oybek Usmanov called on the Federal Minister of National Food Security Syed Fakhar Imam in Islamabad Wednesday.
Adviser to Ministry Dr. Akmal Siddique and Senior Joint Secretary Ministry of National Food Security and Research Mr. Javed Humayun also attended the meeting. Minister welcomed the Uzbekistan’s interest in investing in development of agriculture machinery in Pakistan via joint ventures.
He said that Pakistan’s 60% exports are of textile industry. He said that Pakistan has predominantly agro-economy and value addition in this sector is vital for future economic growth. He said that Pakistan exported 3.7 Mn tonne of rice last year and this year has twice of that available for export. He welcomed Uzbekistan’s interest in importing rice from Pakistan.
Fakhar said that the two countries can immensely benefit from exchange in agriculture research and value-added technologies. He praised the quality of mechanization in Uzbekistan and said that Uzbekistan and Pakistan have huge trade potential. The two dignitaries agreed to enhance bilateral trade especially agriculture trade.
Oybek Usmanov, Ambassador of Uzbekistan to Pakistan told the federal minister that Uzbekistan is ready to increase multifaceted cooperation with Pakistan. He said that high level engagement between the two countries is expected to reap fruitful results for both countries. The Ambassador said that Pakistani agricultural products have huge potential if they are converted into value added products through processing. He said that Pakistan is a key exporter of citrus fruits and Rice to Uzbekistan.
He said that they have high level cotton seed available that is pest and draught resistant which can increase Pakistan’s cotton output. Ambassador said that exchange of technical knowledge can benefit both countries. Fakhar said that Pakistan has immense export potential with respect to citrus fruits, rice, mangoes, onion, potatoes, fisheries and livestock etc. Fakhar said that Pakistan has 8 Mn tonnes of rice which can be exported.
Fakhar acknowledged that value added industry needs to be set up by Pakistan to fully take advantage of its agricultural products. Fakhar said that Pakistan exported appx 144,000 tonnes of mangoes internationally and hence its export to Uzbekistan also has huge potential.
Oybek Usmanov, Ambassador of Uzbekistan to Pakistan showed great interest in importing Rice from Pakistan. H.E. said that Uzbekistan. Ambassador of Uzbekistan to Pakistan said that Uzbekistan was greatly interested in increasing trade between the two countries. The two dignitaries agreed to further enhance cooperation and collaboration between MNFS&R and its Uzbekistan counterpart.
Fakhar said that Pakistan faces a number of challenges but with the right policy interventions under the leadership of Prime Minister Imran Khan, agriculture sector can be transformed. He said that Pakistani agriculture has been tottering along the traditional agricultural techniques and it is time that we start to look ahead to the future in terms of modernization.
Fakhar Imam praised the current government’s efforts and said that in the last 70 years the main set back to research was insufficient funds. This is the first time in the history of Pakistan that under Prime Minister Initiative Program billions of Rupees have been invested in agricultural research which has led to record production of wheat, maize and rice last year. =DNA