source: China Economic Net
Deepen Pak-China Agriculture Coop through Networking, Research Resource Mobilization
by Meng Fanrong
MULTAN, Jan. 12 (Gwadar Pro) – Strengthening China-Pakistan agricultural cooperation through networking and mobilization of research resources is greatly beneficial to tap the potential of human resources, elevate socio-economic status of farmers and add momentum to rural revitalization in Pakistan.
“A win-win situation can be achieved through the development of Pak-China schools in rural areas of Pakistan, strengthening bilateral institutional cooperation and business contacts, promoting the transformation from self-sufficient agriculture to commercial agriculture, etc.” Dr. Asif Ali, Vice Chancellor, MNS University of Agriculture, Multan said in an interview with Gwadar Pro recently.
Rural development is largely neglected in Pakistan but it actually affects agricultural development as a whole and food security in particular. Asif Ali said that China’s rural development model had achieved remarkable results, which should be learned by Pakistan. “It is imperative to carry out cultural exchanges and language education between the two countries for rural population at an early age. Through the focus of China-Pakistan Economic Corridor Phase II on agricultural cooperation and social livelihood, both countries can develop together.”
“Our cooperation in research and human resource training in Chinese Institute has made important progress. We have established Sino-Pak Agri-Biotechnology Lab and plan to set up a Confucius Institute to strengthen people-to-people exchanges.” Asif Ali stated, “the faculty and staff of our university are connected with stakeholders, including farmers, agribusinesses, national and international partners, and members of society. We also contact farmers through the project internship program, realizing the combination of theoretical knowledge and practice. There are currently about 6,000 students from Pakistan pursuing PhD degrees in agricultural sciences in China who need to be trained in the target areas of the two countries.”
International collaboration in R&D and human resource exchange for the betterment of agriculture is very important. Over the years, inter-institutional cooperation between both countries has been deepening continuously. Asif Ali stressed that in the long run, such cooperation should not only be a single intervention in science, but also in need to be moved from laboratory to commercialization.