ISLAMABAD, Pakistan: Pakistan and Uzbekistan on Wednesday agreed for enhancing bilateral cooperation and sharing each other’s expertise in the fields of agricultural and livestock for the development of agri and livestock sectors of both the countries.
The consensus to this regard was developed in the meeting between the ambassador of the Republic of Uzbekistan to Pakistan Furkat A. Sidikov and Chairman Pakistan Agriculture Council (PARC) Dr Yousaf Zafar.
The ambassador also visited National Agricultural Research Centre (NARC) and discussed various avenues for mutual co-operation for the develop of agriculture sectors of both the countries.
During the meeting the two sides discussed areas of mutual interests including agriculture, agro machinery manufacturing, food processing, dry fruits, fresh fruits, cotton, milk and its by-products and leather.
Speaking on the occasion, the Chairman PARC Dr Yusuf Zafar informed the Uzbek Ambassador that there was a tremendous opportunities for mutual cooperation existing in above mentioned areas.
Dr Yusuf Zafar said that these sub-sectors of local agriculture sector have utmost importance in the economy of the Country as being an agro-based economy and was providing livelihood to a large portion of national population.
The Chairman PARC said that 70 percent of gross domestic product (GDP) was depending on agricultural sector where as 45 percent labour force of the Country comes from agriculture sector.
Dr Yusuf Zafar also shown keen interest in the agriculture machinery manufacturing of Uzbekistan and stressed the need for initiating joint ventures for the manufacturing of agri-machinery in Pakistan for mechanization of local farmings.
The Chairman further said that Pakistan was struggling to increase per-acre yield and required advanced agricultural equipment, while Uzbekistan was far ahead in producing technologically advanced agricultural equipment.
Agricultural experts believe that Uzbekistan was producing mechanized agriculture machinery, which was far better than the machinery produced in India and China and the cultivation through mechanized machinery can double the yield in Pakistan, he added.
The Uzbek ambassador said that cotton-picking equipment and tractors from Uzbekistan was available in Pakistan and successfully operating in the local fields.
Furkat A. Sidikov said that Cotton Research Institute Multan had imported and advanced cotton picking machine which would save the labour cost of local farmers and help them maximizing their farm income.
A team of experts from Cotton Research Institute had also visited Uzbekistan in recent past to review possibility of collaboration of experts of both the countries in the agriculture sector, he added.
The ambassador said that it was also agreed to formalize exchange programme for scientists and farmers to benefit from research and mutual experiences.