Thursday, October 27, 2022
ISLAMABAD: Minister for National Food Security and Research Tariq Bashir Cheema told a Russian delegation on Wednesday that Russia, being one of the largest exporters of wheat, can help Pakistan meet its local demand under a government-to-government (G2G) framework.
According to The News, the minister passed the comments in a meeting with a Russian delegation at his office.
Both sides discussed prospects of cooperation and partnership in the agriculture sector. The delegation included Prodintorg Representatives Yousuf Asif and Hamid Ali, Agriculture Attaché Aleksei Kudriavtsev and Attaché Russian Embassy Alexander.
Cheema said that the agriculture sector has suffered colossal losses because of the recent rains and floods, the real assessment was still awaited.
“Pakistani rice is of good quality. Russia looks forward to increasing import of rice from Pakistan,” said Yousuf Asif. He added Russia is increasing the number of authorised exporters of rice to Russia in Pakistan. The official also showed willingness to import potatoes from Pakistan.
The delegation offered an opportunity for wheat import for Pakistan in order to address the issue of food security, even in the form of barter trade while exchanging food basket commodities. Agriculture Attaché of Russia Aleksei Kudriavtsev hoped that mutually-beneficial cooperation in agriculture will help ensure food security in both countries.
In a sperate meeting with US Ambassador to Pakistan Donald Blome, Cheema discussed matters of mutual interest. Cheema welcomed the ambassador and informed the envoy of the challenges being faced by Pakistan due to recent floods and rains.
“Our priority is to recover as much agricultural land as possible and help the displaced people to resettle back in their houses,” he said.
Donald Blome said that the people of the United States stand with Pakistan, and assured that Washington was increasing the flood assistance package for Islamabad.
The ambassador said that apart from the assistance, he looks forward to expanding agriculture trade between the two countries and building stronger relations. He said the US was considering allowing Pakistan access to the US beef market.
The ambassador also expressed his interest to work with Pakistan in the agriculture sector. He said that the US is looking forward to introducing high-yield cotton seed technology in Pakistan. The federal minister welcomed the initiative and said that in the recent floods, cotton and dates were the most affected crops.