ISLAMABAD: Pakistan has signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with China to ensure pest free export of onions for facilitating export of horticulture product, onions to neighboring countries.
In this regard, a signing ceremony of the Protocol for Inspection and Quarantine Requirements for export of onion from Pakistan to China was held between the General Administration of Customs China (GACC) of China and the Ministry of National Food Security and Research (MNFSR) of Pakistan here.
The agreement was signed by Federal Minister for National Food Security & Research Syed Fakhar Imam and Ambassador of China in Pakistan Nong Rong.
It was reaffirmed that such initiatives would further strengthen friendship ties between both the countries. Such trade related MoU would bring the people of both the countries closer together.
During the event Fakhar Imam said that the agricultural sector is indispensable to the country’s economic growth, food security, employment generation and poverty alleviation particularly for the rural population.
The minister said that the present government has been giving high priority to the growth of the agriculture sector on a sustainable basis and is implementing the most appropriate policies to achieve the desired outcomes.
Pakistan, with around 138 thousand ha and 1.8 million tons of onion production, stands at 6th and 9th position respectively in terms of onion area and production. Moreover, Pakistan contributes 2.1 per cent in world onion area and 1.9pc in its world production.
The minister stated that Pakistan has been exporting rice, mango and citrus to China after complying with phytosanitary import requirements of China. The instant Protocol would also create awareness about quarantine and phytosanitary compliance among Pakistan onion producers.
Nong Rong anticipated that the Protocol would open new ways for more Pakistani products to reach Chinese markets. He further said that China and Pakistan are complementary to each other. “China is already supporting Pakistan in foot and mouth disease control, chili, potato, beef and mutton production while CPEC would further result in cementing these trade ties,” he added.
It may be mentioned here that work on development quarantine and Phytosanitary procedures for export of Pakistani onions to China was initiated by Department of Plant Protection (DPP), Ministry of National Food Security & Research (MNFSR) was initiated during January, 2019. The National Plant Protection Organisations of both the countries conducted Pest Risk Analysis (PRA) and the technical negotiations resulted in the form of Protocol during April 2021.
Under this Protocol, the DPP would conduct pest survey, implement Integrated Pest Management (IPM) targeting quarantine pests of concern to China during the growing season of onion by adopting internationally recognised phytosanitary inspection methods and ensure pest free export of onion to China.
Moreover, the processing companies that intend to export onions from Pakistan to China shall be registered and recommended by DPP after approval through audit for further registration with GACC.