Pakistan has been able to increase its exports to France, Fakhar Imam

Nicolas Galey said that Pakistan and France should enhance cooperation through linkages between the research institutes of the two countries

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Islamabad: (VOM): The Ambassador of France Nicolas Galey met with the Federal Minister of National Food Security Syed Fakhar Imam. Senior Joint Secretary Mr. Javed Humayun also attended the meeting.

Fakhar Imam said that Pakistan exported 463,000 tonnes of citrus fruits last year. He said that due to the GSP plus status granted to Pakistan by the EU, Pakistan has been able to increase its exports to France as well. Pakistan has immense export potential with respect to citrus fruits, rice, mangoes, onion, potatoes, fisheries, livestock, etc.

Nicolas Galey said that Pakistan and France should enhance cooperation through linkages between the research institutes of the two countries. He said that he was keen to increase agricultural exchange between France and Pakistan. He invited a delegation from Pakistan to visit the primary research institutes in France. H.E. welcomed the proposal of the Federal Minister to create a student and faculty exchange program. He said that agriculture is an important part of France’s economy and is a key area of focus.

Fakhar said that sharing of germplasm on a reciprocal basis of cotton, melon, cereal

crops, and other high-value horticulture crops and livestock can enhance the agriculture sector of both countries. Minister said that cooperation in production technologies of cotton and high-value horticulture crops such as kinnow, dates, and mangoes can be beneficial for Pakistan.

Minister said that PM Imran Khan is the only leader who has looked at the bigger picture and plans for the next 10-20 years.Fakhar Imam praised the current government’s efforts and said that in the last 70 years the main set back to research was insufficient funds. This is the first time in the history of Pakistan that under Prime Minister Initiative Program billions of Rupees have been invested in agricultural research which has led to record production of wheat, maize and rice last year.

Fakhar said that Pakistan has 8 Mn tonnes of rice which can be exported. Fakhar said that Pakistan exported appx 144,000 tonnes of mangoes internationally and hence its export to France also has huge potential.

Fakhar Imam said that France has mechanization expertise which can benefit Pakistan. Fakhar said that Pakistan faces a number of challenges but with the right policy interventions under the leadership of Prime Minister Imran Khan, agriculture sector can be transformed. He said that Pakistani agriculture has been tottering along the traditional agricultural techniques and it is time that we start to look ahead to the future in terms of modernization.

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