News Analysis |
The Federal Minister for National Food Security and Research Sikandar Hayat Khan Bosan on Wednesday welcomed the Belarusian investors that have offered their trajectory for establishing a joint agriculture machinery manufacturing company in order to maximize the potential of investing in Pakistan’s primary export sector, agriculture.
Addressing the 4th session of the Pakistan-Belarus joint working group for cooperation in agriculture, Mr Bosan said that the joint ventures in the agriculture sector would be beneficial for both Pakistan and Belarus as they will create jobs for the local skilled and semi-skilled labour force in addition to providing better outcomes for the Belarusians.
He said that he looked forward to more cooperation from Belarusian investors as they join hands to boost Pakistan’s agricultural sector. The event took place through the collaboration of the Ministry of National Food Security and Research and Pakistan Agriculture Research Council (PARC).
Mr Bosan said that Pakistan is a food secure country and it is producing surplus crops of wheat, maize, mangoes and citrus fulfilling the food requirement of the population of around 220 million.
During the event, a ‘one nation exhibition’ was also organized to shed light on the investment, trade and stock opportunities thriving in the agriculture sector of both countries as well as to research the areas of common interest for enhancing the cooperation between Pakistan and Belarus. The minister expressed the government of Pakistan’s resolve for providing a favourable environment for foreign investors so that more joint ventures could be brought in and established in the agriculture sector.
He also said that the local agriculture-sector constitutes for about 20 percent of the national GDP and about 60 percent of the total population that resides in rural areas is directly or variably connected to the agriculture sector. He told the investors that agriculture was a major source of raw material for local industry.
Pakistan’s principle GDP income is contracted from agriculture, which employs 43% of the labour force. The most important crops are wheat, sugarcane, cotton, and rice, which together account for more than 75% of the value of total crop output.
Mr Bosan said that Pakistan is a food secure country and it is producing surplus crops of wheat, maize, mangoes and citrus fulfilling the food requirement of the population of around 220 million, adding that the agriculture sector of the country was rapidly transforming because of modern and mechanized farming. Contrary to Mr Bosan’s claim, however, a 2016 World Hunger Index report shows that Pakistan is at ‘Serious’ hunger levels.
Mr Bosan said that the joint ventures in the agriculture sector would be beneficial for both Pakistan and Belarus.
In 2017, a Washington based think tank, Food Policy and Research Institute ranked Pakistan at number 109 out of 116 countries on the food safety index, placing Pakistan far behind India and even some African countries. At 32.6%, Pakistan has the second highest hunger score, lagging only behind Afghanistan.
The indicators include malnutrition, food quality and deficiency of necessary nutritive elements. Pakistan is also facing a serious food standards harmonization issue in regard to processed food.
Read more: Pakistan’s economy: Growing or declining?
Mr Bosan said that the extensions of such exhibitions and corporate interactions would open new doors for the development of bilateral trade and investment links of the two friendly countries and would also provide an input for policy makers as to how the relationship should progress further.
The Federal Minister for National Food Security and Research Sikandar Hayat Khan Bosan on Wednesday welcomed the Belarusian investors that have offered their trajectory for establishing a joint agriculture machinery manufacturing company.
Also addressing the convention, the Belarus food and agriculture deputy minister said that three meetings of the group had been held so far and various areas of common business interest had been discussed including the supply and chain of poultry products and organizing the establishment of joint ventures in the dairy and meat processing industries. He requested the participants that a road map is prepared for future liaison and for preparing proposals for future investments, which will be christened in the mega exhibition to be held in Belarus later this year.