Chinese seed companies have been making efforts to extend a helping hand and support to Pakistan in its on-going fight against the COVID-19 pandemic and locust outbreak through measures including donations of anti-epidemic materials and guarantee of seed export, reports Gwadar Pro.
According to China Seed Association, Anhui Quanyin Seed Industry donated 1,000 N95 masks and 30,000 medical surgical masks through Pakistani companies; Sichuan Guohao Seed Industry donated 3,000 N95 masks to ICI Pakistan Limited; Jiangsu Hongqi Seed Industry donated 10,000 medical surgical masks through its Pakistani peers; Anhui Longping Gaoke Seed Industry and Pakistani partners donated material packages of flour, rice, edible oil and sugar to 1,000 poor families in Pakistan’s Punjab province.
In addition, donated materials from other Chinese seed companies are also in the process of collection and transfer.
Since the end of last year, Pakistan has struggled to combat locust plagues which have destroyed crops and threatened the livelihoods of farmers. Chinese seed companies have taken solid actions to help ensure the grain yield of Pakistan after work resumption amid pandemic.
On February 14 and March 4, two batches of hybrid rice seeds from Jiangsu Shennong Dafeng Seed Industry Technology Co. and Jiangsu Hongqi Seed Industry Co., Ltd. were loaded on ships respectively. On March 31, a batch of corn seeds from Anhui Longping Gaoke Seed Industry Co., Ltd. were loaded on ships and departed for Pakistan.
Pakistan is an agriculture based country, its economy heavily depends on the agriculture yields. Data shows that about 47% of the country’s labour force is engaged in the agriculture sector and about 70% is related to it both directly and indirectly. However, the crops planted in Pakistan are mainly conventional varieties, with low yield and poor resistance. Seeds have become a weak link in its agricultural production.
Since the launch of China-Pakistan Economic Corridor, China and Pakistan have seen closer cooperation in agriculture. China’s seed products have become popular with Pakistani buyers for high resistance to temperature and diseases, and low yield reduction rate, especially in hybrid rice. According to the statistics of China Seed Association, Pakistan’s rice yield per mu increased from 350 kg/mu to 700 kg/mu, doubled after introducing Chinese hybrid rice seeds.
As the epidemic situation is improving, Chinese seed companies are ready to work with the Pakistani side to deepen practical cooperation in epidemic prevention and agriculture, and provide support and assistance within its capabilities to help Pakistan tackle the COVID-19 pandemic and locust outbreak.