Pakistan expects to enhance organic agriculture with Chinese help

By Shafqat Ali | Gwadar Pro Sep 22, 2021

ISLAMABAD, Sept. 22 (Gwadar Pro) - Pakistan is expecting to enhance organic agriculture with Chinese help, a workshop was told on Tuesday afternoon.

The ‘Launching Workshop on Building the Policy Ecosystem for Organic Production Landscape in Pakistan’ was organized in Centre for Agriculture and Biosciences International (CABI).

Bioscience Centre is leading the initiative to promote organic agriculture in Pakistan through the development of organic agriculture policy and supply chains of high-quality organic seed and essential bio-inputs under the umbrella of Ministry of National Food Security and Research.

Earlier reports said China is already prepared to share its rich experience with Pakistan to produce organic food. Organic farming is still in its infancy stage in Pakistan with a very limited number of established organic farms. Statistics show that organic land only accounts for 0.2% of the total.

The workshop on organic agriculture policy was intended to form a national working group to build the policy ecosystem for the organic production landscape in Pakistan for organic agriculture promotion.

The workshop was held under the Chairmanship of Federal Minister for National Food Security and Research Syed Fakhar Imam.

The project aims to develop organic agriculture policy, national organic standards, and the transformation of institutional approach from conventional to organic agriculture techniques.

It is also envisioned that business development at local level for seed and bio-inputs would be supported and serves as pillar for organic agriculture landscape development.

Federal Minister appreciated CABI’s efforts to lead policy development work regarding organic agriculture production. He also assured full support in establishing the national working group with members from the federal, provincial government and private sector to develop the organic agriculture policy for Pakistan through his ministry. He added that the development of Organic Agriculture Policy will play a pivotal role in boosting the domestic organic industry.

Imam was optimistic that China will generously share the experiences with Pakistan to boost organic agriculture. He acknowledged that China had always stood by Pakistan.

Chairman Pakistan Agriculture Research Council (PARC) Dr Muhammad Azeem Khan also shed light on the importance of Organic Agriculture Policy development in context of national organic agriculture sector development and ensured the technical support to develop organic agriculture policy.

“Immense potential in the organic agriculture ecosystem can play an important role in fighting poverty and climatic change. There is a dire need to promote organic agriculture for safe and healthy food for local and international populations,” he stated.

Dr Babar E. Bajwa, Senior Regional Director Asia, CABI briefed the participants about the importance of the transformation of agriculture from conventional to organic in context of food safety, climate change and exports.

He elaborated on how the emerging demand for organic products in the international market developed opportunities for Pakistani organic products such as cotton.

He also pointed out the potential of organic agriculture to mitigate the threats due to climate change and increase the sustainability of the agricultural production system by minimizing the use of chemical inputs, fertilizers, and pesticides as well as making agriculture more environmentally sustainable and economically viable. Representatives from the federal, provincial governments and private sector attended the workshop.

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