‘Pakistan needs mega dams for agriculture’

Post Source: The News International

Jawwad Rizvi
Monday, March 28, 2011
PAKISTAN has one of the best irrigation systems of the world along the fertile plains which can produce exportable surplus agricultural products if the potential is utilised properly. This was stated by Chinese agronomist Guobao Yuan while talking to The News here on Sunday. He is visiting Pakistan for exploring new avenues of agriculture potential. Mr Yuan said Pakistan needed to construct mega water reservoirs which would irrigate its agricultural land with water from glaciers of Himalaya and also help overcome the energy shortage faced by the country. Guobao Yuan, also the chairman of Hubei Provincial Seed Group China, said that in some cases, Pakistan land was more fertile and agricultural conditions more conducive as compared to China.

“We learned from our experience that in some crops per acre yields of some seeds in Pakistan is 30 percent higher than China which is very attractive even to Chinese who are getting one of the highest production yield of the world,” he said. However, he stressed the need to increase spending in research and development, science and technology in order to increase the crop productivity in Pakistan. “We have achieve the milestones in agriculture sector by only spending on research and development, science and technology which delivered as China is feeding its all population which is largest in the world with its indigenous agriculture production,” Guobao Yuan said. He said that the Chinese government, during the last five years, had given over $70 billion in agriculture input subsides to its farmers while it also spent over $50 billion on water and irrigation sector of the rural economy. This had a positive impact on the rural economy and enhanced its production which was crucial for Chinese government with growing population, he added.

Mr Yuan said the Chinese government to successfully fulfil its duty to give food to its population focused on agriculture sector. “If we produce sufficient agricultural produce, it means our population will be fed well”, he said.

Talking about recent visits of President Asif Zardari and Punjab Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif to China, Guobao Yuan said both the dignitaries had given importance to the agriculture sector and signed agreements with firms and government for expansion of agriculture sector of Pakistan. “During Asifís visits, an agreement was signed with Sindh province for expansion of hybrid oil seeds and hybrid rice seeds which will enhance production of land and also increase the income of poor farmers,” he added. Talking about the Sino-Pak cooperation in seeds development, he said it would be helpful in two ways for Pakistani farmers. He said that seed development would increase the production of the Pakistani farmers 30 to 50 per cent while in second phase, Pakistan would help export its developed seeds to neighbouring countries, including India, and other parts of world ranging from S Asia to Middle East and Africa.

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