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ISLAMABAD: Federal Minister for National Food Security and Research Fakhar Imam on Wednesday said that the government is keen to enhance cooperation between Pakistan and the UAE, especially with respect to food security.

Talking to the Ambassador of the United Arab Emirates (UAE) to Pakistan, Hamad Obaid Alzaabi, he acknowledged the effective measures taken by the UAE to address the issue of food security.

The minister said that Pakistan has had good relations with the UAE for the last 50 years and is looking forward to further boost these brotherly relations.

He said that the agricultural economy of Pakistan has grown by average four percent, adding under the leadership of Prime Minister Imran Khan agriculture has been put back on priority.

Imam said that Pakistan has donated 50,000 tonnes of wheat to Afghanistan and the World Food Programme has acquired 200,000 tonnes of wheat from Pakistan for Afghanistan.

He said two million additional bales of cotton will add Rs200 billion to the economy of Pakistan, adding the need of the hour for Pakistan is to develop value-added industry.

He said that agro industry has huge potential in Pakistan. He said that processing units of citrus fruits, mangoes, potatoes, tomatoes, onion, and dates can yield high return for foreign investors.

He said that Pakistan is the 5th largest producer of milk and only seven percent of it is processed, identifying the huge gap in the value added and processing sector. He said, currently, we have 40Mn cows to attain the current level of productivity because the domestic cow has the capacity of only 1,000 litres per lactation, however, worldwide cows can produce up to 6,000 litres of milk per lactation. He said that the most pressing issue that Pakistan’s agro economy faces is low yield. He said that through high quality inputs and research high yields can be achieved.

The ambassador of the UAE said that Pakistan has huge potential and a wide number of opportunities to enhance its agro economy.

He said that the Dubai Expo 2020 is an ideal example of the UAE’s efforts to bring the world together.

He said the UAE wishes to play its part in resolving the issue of food security.

He said that Pakistan and the UAE need to enhance cooperation in the agriculture sector for mutual benefit.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2021

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