Italian Ambassador Stefano Pontecorvo has said that agricultural and economics relations between both the countries would be further extended to get benefit from each other’s potential. He called on University of Agriculture Faisalabad Vice Chancellor, Professor Dr Iqrar Ahmad Khan at the Syndicate Room.
All deans-directors and administrative heads attended the meeting. He said that agriculture and food sector, machinery, fruits and food processing, poultry, and textile sector are the potential areas for investment.
He also said that Italy would provide machineries and expertise for agriculture and other food products along with services for technological training and capacity building for rural development. He added that Italy’s top 10 imports from Pakistan during 2014-15 amounted to $669.4 million including cotton worth $204.1 million. He said that the Italy will also assist Pakistan in olive oil, cotton, machineries for five major crops, dairy, poultry uplift and other area of mutual concern.
He said agricultural sector was subsidised in the European Union. He said his country was getting cooking oil from olive and peasant. UAF Vice Chancellor, Professor Dr Iqrar Ahmad Khan said that the cotton production has reduced to 35 percent this year mainly due to climate changes. He added that poultry had emerged as the biggest contributor to the GDP to the economy. He sought the assistance of Italy in the agricultural machinery.
He said that it was the matter of concern that seed are sown in Pakistan by hand rather than machinery. He said that the machinery of crop harvesting are outdated that needed to be replaced in which Italy can play an active role. He noted that that the country has 35 million buffaloes and 34 million sheep but the milk processing is the weak area in the country. He said that our country was importing edible oil worth 3 billion dollar whereas it is needed to promote the cultivation of oil plants to overcome the crisis.
Source: Business Recorder