Dutch companies discuss joint venture for potato seeds and dairy
ISLAMABAD: Federal Minister for National Food Security & Research Sahibzada Muhammad Mehboob Sultan was the Chief Guest at the Dutch Agriculture Trade Mission in Islamabad today, PID reported. In the event representatives of private sector agro related Dutch Companies, investors, public sector officials and senior of officials of the Ministry of National Food Security & Research participated. The meeting focused on the prospects of Dutch investment in agro sector in Pakistan with special focus on seed potato and dairy processing. Livestock sector is important sub-sector of agriculture in Pakistan; its role is crucial towards rural socio economic development. Since livestock sector of Netherlands is very progressive, Pakistan can utilize their expertise in livestock sector. Federal minister said that Pakistan and Holland can work together in dairy and meat sector of Pakistan, moreover exchange of experts, professionals and scientists in various areas of production and processing could also help towards achieving that end. Sahibzada Mehboob Sultan said that it is very important to enhance bilateral trade of processed dairy, poultry and meat products by providing market access and sharing the sanitary and phyto-sanitary requirements for import/export of these commodities. It is pertinent to mention that Pakistan imports its total seed potato from Holland; it imported 4735MT in the year 2018-19. There are innumerable challenges towards achieving self reliance in seed potato as there is a dearth of locally developed high yielding seed potato verities. Moreover, the seed of imported verities cannot be produced without integrating it with our national requirement of registration of verities. The Federal Minister Mehboob Sultan said that local production system of seed potato could be started with the technical help from the Netherlands. He also said that inviting private seed companies interested in local seed production and starting a joint venture with Dutch Companies on mutually agreed terms to start local production would be an ideal scenario. Moreover, Seed potato mini-tuber production program with a joint venture of public/ private sector tissue culture laboratories and private sector seed companies in Pakistan could help both the countries.