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ISLAMABAD: Amid the urgent need for adoption of modern technology, agriculture experts urged for joining hands with China for promotion of sugar industry by learning from mutual experiences for mutual gains.

Talking to media here on Saturday, Khan Faraz, an Agriculture expert said that sugarcane is an important cash crop of Pakistan grown on a large area of the country. A number of sugar mills have been established for manufacture of sugar from the sugarcane grown in the country.

Also, some portion of the crop is used for the production of “Gur” (jiggery) especially in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa. The sugar industry is the second largest agriculture based industry after textile.

He said that sugarcane is a longer duration crop as compared to other cash crops grown in the country. Farmers require great skill and huge investment to grow this crop, and face a host of problems including increasing cost of inputs, labour and water, he added.

Pakistan and China trade officials have reportedly recently discussed measures to enhance their cooperation in the sugarcane sector aiming to produce high grade sugar to export it to the world market.

Also, experts from China and Pakistan discussed the potential of collaboration in the sugar industry. Wherein, it was observed that there was a great scope of cooperation between China and Pakistan including sugar industry by learning from mutual experiences for mutual gains.

Therefore, both countries should join hands to promote sugarcane production and processing using modern technologies and techniques, such as tissue culture, disease-free seedlings and integrated pest management.

Faraz said that Pakistan is a traditional agricultural country, but there is still a lot more to be done to modernize its agriculture sector to enable it to meet international standards.

Pakistan sugarcane industry could not prosper until growers get access to the best sugarcane varieties and practices, said Faraz, adding that Pakistan should start a sugarcane breeding programme with the help of China, and learn from its experience and expertise.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2023

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