Developing eco-organic agriculture to help Pakistan reduce poverty

SHANGHAI, Nov. 9 (INP): Developing eco-organic agriculture will help Pakistan to reduce poverty, says a report published by China Economic Net.
“Developing eco-organic agriculture is an important approach to alleviating poverty, both in China and worldwide. Via establishing a complete quality management system, it will not only improve the quality and reputation of agricultural products, but also greatly increase farmers’ income in an eco-friendly way to realize sustainable development,” Liu Weijun, Director of the Certification and Accreditation Administration of China, said in the 15th Belt and Road Eco-Agriculture and Food Security Forum held at the ongoing 4th China International Import Expo (CIIE).
In 2020, China achieved the goal of eliminating extreme poverty. The 98.99 million Chinese people in rural areas who were living below the current poverty threshold all shook off poverty.
“It’s learned that in this success there were 52 counties that lifted themselves of poverty by developing organic agriculture locally,” Liu Weijun stressed.
According to him, China’s local governments in various places such as Shandong and Yunnan provinces, etc. attach great importance to developing organic agriculture.
A number of demonstration zones and brands have been established all over the country, which significantly improved farmers’ income and quality of life.
“China’s organic farming is progressing rapidly. Statistics show that in 2020 the domestic sales of organic products reached RMB 80.4 billion, ranking fourth in the world, increasing by nearly 20% compared with that in 2019,” Liu Weijun said.
In September, 2021, Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan praised China for being a ‘role model’ for developing countries in anti-poverty. “Sustainable ways of achieving economic recovery, growth and development are critical during the pandemic,” the PM said.
Data shows that in the first half of 2021, China’s total import and export volume of agricultural products was $146.5 billion, a year-on-year increase of 26.4%. Especially, the import volume reached $108.1 billion, a year-on-year growth of 33.9%, exhibiting China’s huge demand for agricultural products from overseas.
“China expects to import more high-quality and green agricultural products from countries along the Belt and Road, and is willing to share experiences in poverty reduction and rural revitalization to boot economies and reach common development,” Jiang Jiang, Deputy Secretary General of the National Council of the Chinese People’s Association for Friendship with Foreign Countries (CPAFFC) remarked in the forum.
Facilitated by China-Pakistan Free Trade Agreement (FTA) Phase II, Pakistan’s exports to China in the first three quarters of 2021 skyrocketed to $2.52 billion, a year-on-year growth of about 76 percent, and the number is expected to surpass the milestone of $3 billion when the year ends, according to China Customs. Notably, in the basket of exportable goods, agricultural products take a major share of Pakistan’s exports to China.

As China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) enters its second phase, focusing on improving Pakistani people’s livelihood, more Chinese agricultural technologies are flowing into Pakistan.

Through close agricultural cooperation under the Corridor, developing organic agriculture may be a workable way for Pakistan to tackle poverty as well as boost its agricultural exports to China even the whole world.

INP/Javed