Farming: the missing CPEC link

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In the sixth Pakistan-China Joint Cooperation Committee recently, Sindh got three projects included in the CPEC: the Keti Bunder port, the Karachi Circular Railway and the Dhabeji Special Economic Zone.

But the farm sector and food processing units are yet to feature in any CPEC programme, though the cooperation for agricultural development is one of the potential areas for inclusion in the project, according to the Planning Commission of Pakistan. Corporate farming is yet an area of possible cooperation, perhaps through joint ventures.

Some Sindh government representatives working on the CPEC projects admit that the agriculture sector does not feature anywhere in the federal government’s priority list.

The farm sector is yet to feature in any CPEC programme, though the cooperation for agricultural development is one of the potential areas for inclusion in the project

An official — who attended this joint committee meeting along with the Sindh chief minister in December 2016 — says around 50 MoUs have been signed for the development of infrastructure, energy, transport and the industrial sector; and perhaps one or two MoUs on research and development in the farm sector.