ISLAMABAD: Pakistan on Wednesday sought Belarusian technologies to improve milk processing and dairy production as a next step to the bilateral agreements signed three-year back to initiate agriculture technology projects.
“Pakistan is a big producer of dairy milk but (due to) the lack of technological advancements the desired results could not be attained,” Federal Minister National Food Security and Research Sahibzada Mehboob Sultan said.
“It is quite intriguing that Republic of Belarus has ultra modern milk processing and dairy production technologies hence Pakistan could start joint ventures and make use of Belarusian technologies.”
The Ambassador of Belarus to Pakistan Andrei Ermolovich along with scientists and members Ministry of Agriculture Belarus called on Minister Sultan, an official statement said.
Pakistan and Belarus signed memoranda of understanding and intention were signed in 2015. The basic purpose was to promote mutual cooperation in the field of agro technology and research in areas identified mutually by both the governments: scientific cooperation and research, exchange of agro machinery and research in the field of cattle farming.
The joint working group (JWG) was also formulated to make progress in the identified areas. So far four sessions of JWG took place, while the fifth session is expected to be held during the first quarter of next year.
Food minister said both the countries had identified almost 18 areas where the exchange of technologies could take place.
“We are eager to take it to the next level and start the projects jointly to get to that end,” he said.
The areas were dubbed as vital for the uplift of farmers and agriculture. They include cattle breeding through advanced technological assistance and cooperation in genetic engineering, research in dairy production and processing, improvement of productive qualities of beef cattle and veterinary vaccine development.
“All these proposed areas/projects go parallel with the incumbent government’s vision about agro development in the country,” Sultan said. “We focus on increase in mutual turnover of agriculture goods.”
The minister further said Belarusian machinery especially tractors are very famous in the country and in the last meeting the ambassador showed his interest to expand the scope of trade in the area and “we are ready to negotiate on those matters as well”.
“Both the countries could work on harmonisation of veterinary standards,” he added.
The minister expressed his satisfaction over the projects to be initiated in the light of proposals from the joint working group and assured that the ministry of food security would rigorously follow the process and bring it to fruition.
A considerable progress for the mutual venture has been made and sound proposals for cooperation in the areas of animal science, farm machinery and biotechnology along with relevant focal persons and institutions from both the sides have been finalised.
“The development of projects on the finalised proposal is also under process,” the statement added. “The purpose of current visit of scientists from National Academy of Sciences Belarus is to finalise the projects and discuss the implementation mechanism as well.”
The officials told the federal minister that Belarusian Agriculture Minister considers the collaboration very important and invited Pakistani officials to attend the international agro conference to be held in Belarus next year.