24 September 2019 – CABI is busy working in collaboration with the Chinese Academy of Agricultural Science (CAAS) to help Pakistan’s Ministry for National Food Security & Research (MNFS&R) enhance the country’s capacity to increase food exports to China and other countries around the world.
Dr Ulrich Kuhlmann, CABI’s Global Director, Operations, and Dr Babar Bajwa, Regional Director – CABI Central and West Asia, and a delegation from CAAS met with Federal Minister for National Food Security & Research Mr Sahibzada Muhammad Mehboob Sultan to move forward with plans to cooperate with agricultural research, capacity building of agro-scientists, regional pest management, quarantine facilities and technology transfer initiatives.
The party, who recently convened in Islamabad, are stepping-up their collaboration agreed in November to enhance research and development – mainly in respect of increasing Pakistan’s Sanitary and Phytosanitary (SPS) measures to enhance its exports – as part of the Belt & Road Initiative which aims to improve regional integration, trade and economic growth between Asia, Africa and Europe.
It was agreed that CABI and the Pakistan Agriculture Research Council (PARC) will develop an initial list of biocontrol research ideas, establish a joint laboratory and necessary quarantine facilities to help find biological controls for crop pests and invasive species such as the noxious Parthenium weed.
Dr Kuhlmann said, “The principles of the Belt & Road Initiative presents all partners with great opportunities to enhance agricultural research that will ultimately serve to increase the export of Pakistan’s agro-commodities to China and other countries around the world.
“While the initial focus will be on fighting pests and diseases which impinge on plants and crops, if successful we will work together to expand our scope to livestock, meat and dairy.”
Dr Bajwa added that CABI is “very well aware” of Pakistan’s role towards regional agro trade and that the Belt & Road Initiative will enable China and Pakistan to also focus on the mutual exchange of training programmes and technology for effective integrated pest control strategies.
Dr Bajwa said, “Our meeting with partners was very productive and I’d like to thank the Federal Minister Mr Sahibzada Muhammad Mehboob Sultan for acknowledging CABI for its interventions and proposals as well as the Ministry’s full support in helping to implement the partnership’s plans in good time.”
Find out more about CABI’s Phytosanitary Risk Management Programme in Pakistan from the dedicated project page.