ISLAMABAD: Pakistan and China on Tuesday signed the Protocol for Inspection and Quarantine Requirements (PIQR) for the export of onion likely to open new avenues for Pakistani products in the Chinese markets.
Syed Fakhar Imam, Federal Minister for National Food Security & Research, and Nong Rong, Ambassador of the Peoples Republic of China in Pakistan, signed this protocol in a ceremony. It was reaffirmed that such initiatives would further strengthen friendship ties between both countries.
Such trade-related Memorandum of Understandings (MoU) would bring the people of both countries closer together.
The federal minister highlighted the agricultural sector was indispensable to the country’s economic growth, food security, employment generation, and poverty alleviation, particularly for the rural population.
“The present government under Prime Minister Imran Khan has been giving high priority to the growth of agriculture sector on a sustainable basis and is implementing the most appropriate policies to achieve the desired outcomes.”
Imam said Pakistan with around 138 thousand hectares and 1.8 million tons of onion production stood at 6th and 9th position in terms of onion cultivation area and production respectively. “Moreover, Pakistan contributes 2.1 percent in world onion area and 1.9 percent in its world production.”
The minister said Pakistan had been exporting rice, mango, and citrus fruit to China after complying phytosanitary import requirements of China. The instant Protocol would also create awareness about quarantine and phytosanitary compliance among Pakistan onion producers, Imam added.
The Chinese ambassador anticipated the protocol would open new ways for more Pakistani products to reach Chinese markets.
“China and Pakistan are complementary to each other. China is already supporting Pakistan in Foot and Mouth disease control, chili, potato, and beef and mutton production. The CPEC would further result in such trade ties,” the ambassador said. Work on development quarantine and phytosanitary procedures for the export of Pakistani onions to China was initiated by the Department of Plant Protection (DPP).
The National Plant Protection Organisations of both the countries conducted Pest Risk Analysis and the technical negotiations resulted in the form of Protocol during April 2021. The protocol was signed through friendly consultations to ensure safe entry of onion from Pakistan to China, to prevent the introduction of pests, and to protect plant health under the provisions of the Sanitary and Phytosanitary Measures (SPS Agreement) of the World Trade Organization.
Under this protocol, the DPP would conduct pest survey, implement Integrated Pest Management targeting quarantine pests of concern to China during the growing season of the onion by adopting internationally recognized phytosanitary inspection methods and ensure pest-free export of onion to China.
The processing companies that intend to export onions from Pakistan to China shall be registered and recommended by DPP after approval through an audit for further registration with the General Administration of Customs of China.