Decade of CPEC: Pakistan on course to attain food security

ISLAMABAD: The agriculture sector – the backbone of low-income economies – has emerged as both direct and indirect beneficiary of the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor, which is approaching the 10th anniversary of its launch in Pakistan.

Agricultural development is the main component of the second phase of CPEC, which is being transformed into a “green corridor.”

The major development of the agriculture sector falls under the long-term plan (LTP).

The plan focuses on increasing the use of modern machinery and synthetic fertilizers to enhance yields, while food storage and processing zones would be built to significantly reduce the post-harvest losses.

Similarly, the construction of cold storage stations and meat processing plants is planned to enhance the productivity of livestock and fisheries sectors besides making their output more competitive in the international market.

Being one of the countries included in the BRI initiative, Pakistan can benefit from China’s increased food import dependence and gradual transition towards high-value addition in the agriculture sector.

The Corridor promises to bring a turnaround in the agriculture sector by providing new avenues for further progress of this vital industry that contributes 22.7% to the nation’s GDP, and provides jobs to 37.5% of the working force. It’ll help farmers reach bigger markets where they can export their produce at cost-effective prices through roads, rails, and the sea.

Additionally, the expansion of agricultural land under the CPEC, which includes enlarging farms to increase productivity with the newest equipment and techniques, will be crucial in boosting the economy and GDP as a whole.

China also plans to outsource its agricultural supplies in the form of joint ventures by investing in and developing processing zones, warehouses, dairy farming and cold storage stations in Pakistan.

During last year, Pakistan’s agriculture sector has gained manifold traction under the agricultural cooperation, promising a phenomenal agricultural growth.

Given the comprehensive spectrum of cooperation under the “Green Corridor” throughout the year 2022, the agriculture sector has recorded a remarkable growth of 4.4% and surpassed the target of 3.5% as well as last year’s (FY2022) growth of 3.48%.

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