Khusro Bakhtiar solicited USAID interventions for locust control, access to halal meat market and value addition

December 18, 2019: The Ambassador of the United States of America H.E, Mr Paul W. Jones called on Federal Minister for National Food Security & Research, Makhdoom Khusro Bakhtiar here in Islamabad yesterday. Mr Rey Santella, Agricultural Counselor and Mr Jeff Goebel, Director of Rural and Economic Development Office USAID were also present.

In the meeting, various areas and prospective potential for agro cooperation were discussed. Pakistan has a history of collaboration with the United States through USAID. Federal Minister said that the agriculture sector is vital for Pakistan’s economy & GDP and we are looking forward to a healthy cooperation in the agro sector for mutual benefits.

The Minister further added that Pakistan has huge halal meat production and it can enter into the world market through U.S. support in terms of SPS and JVs can also be established to that effect. Federal Minister said that we are focusing on mutual collaboration by providing enabling platform in the public sector.

He added that the incumbent government has launched history’s largest Agriculture Development program worth over PKR 3 billion, which shows our commitment towards the revival of this sector.

Khusro Bakhtiar told the U.S. Ambassador that in order to achieve high yield through accurate scientific means would enable us to plan the crop sowing priorities and to meet the challenges of production especially enhancing cotton, pulses and edible oil growth indigenously for there is a huge import bill of these commodities.

The U.S. Ambassador said that the U.S. already has its footprints in Pakistan especially in the agriculture sector for soybean is exported here from the U.S., moreover, there is a number of projects in livestock and dairy sector through USAID interventions.

Federal Minister Khusro Bakhtiar said that we are looking forward to cooperation in developing cold chain, value addition facilities in various horticulture products, dairy and meat; he further said that joint ventures in these areas would be a convenient approach for unleashing the potential in short period.

Mr Jones said that the U.S. is well aware that Pakistan is an important agricultural country. Exchange of technologies in agro field including cooperation in value addition, the public-private partnership would be welcomed by both the sides. He further added that the experts in various areas, for instance, dairy, livestock, fisheries could exchange visits for learning new technologies.

Mr Khusro Bakhtiar told the ambassador that there are issues relating access to credit for small farmers, USAID and ZTBL (Leading Agro-Credit bank of Pakistan) may venture into this, as USAID is already working with JS Bank, SMEs and other.

The Federal Minister also talked about the prevailing situation of Desert Locust attack in Sindh & Balochistan and also expressed his desire that the U.S. could support Pakistan in Desert Locust Control program specifically in areas of surveillance and control. Director of Rural and Economic Development Office USAID, Mr Jeff Goebel told the Minister that for the purpose USAID has a separate department called Disaster System and if requested officially it may intervene and provide support wherever needed.

Federal Minister expressed his desire that both countries must explore venues for mutual cooperation especially when PM’s “Agriculture Emergency Program” has already started, during his visit to U.S. Prime Minister also stressed that extensive agricultural cooperation between U.S. and Pakistan must be prioritized.

It is pertinent to mention that the follow-up meeting to evaluate and discuss the development in the aforementioned areas is planned to be held on February 15th next year. H.E.

Mr Jones said that he was grateful for the efforts rendered by the Ministry of National Food Security & Research for facilitating the export of exotic dairy animals to Pakistan and also assured that he would pursue the matters discussed in the meeting rigorously.

Press Release

Posted on: 2019-12-18T10:13:00+05:00

31629