ISLAMABAD: A Russian delegation met with National Food Security Minister Tariq Bashir Cheema on Wednesday for talks on export of wheat to Pakistan and import of Pakistan rice and potato.
The delegation, comprising Prodintorg representatives Yousuf Asif and Hamid Ali, Agriculture Attache at Russian Embassy Aleksei Kudriavtsev and the Attache Alexander, also discussed ways to enhance bilateral cooperation.
The delegation expressed willingness to exchange food basket commodities in the form of barter trade. Pakistan and Russia could mutually benefit from increasing trade cooperation in agriculture, Prodintorg representatives Asif said.
The Russian delegation offered to export wheat to Pakistan to resolve the food security problem. Asif said that Russia was the largest wheat exporter, and it can help Pakistan under a government-to-government framework.
Russia is a major importer of potatoes, he told the minister, and expressed willingness to import potatoes from Pakistan. He also said that Russia looked forward to increasing the import of rice from Pakistan.
On the occasion, Cheema highlighted the damage caused to the agriculture sector of Pakistan because of the recent unprecedented flood. He urged the international community to help Pakistan in the recovery phase.
On the occasion, Russian Agriculture Attache Alexey Kudryavtsev hoped that the mutually-beneficial cooperation in agriculture sector would help ensure food security in both the countries.
Separately, US Ambassador in Pakistan Donald Blome said the United States was considering allowing Pakistan access to the US beef market and introducing high-yield cotton seed technology.
The ambassador said in a meeting with Federal Minister for National Food Security and Research Tariq Bashir Cheema here and discussed matters of mutual interest, said a press release.
The minister welcomed the ambassador and appreciated the cordial relations between the two countries.
Cheema said Pakistan was facing challenges due to recent floods and rains. “Our priority is to recover as much agricultural land as possible and help the displaced people to resettle back to their homes”.
Donald Blome said the people of the United States stand with Pakistan and the US government was increasing the flood assistance package for Pakistan.
He said apart from the assistance, he looks forward to expand agriculture trade between the two countries and build stronger relations. The ambassador also expressed his interest to work with Pakistan in the agriculture sector.
The minister welcomed the initiative and said that in the recent floods cotton and dates were the most affected crop.
Donald Blome said the US has a substantial commitment to address climate change through resilience and mitigation measures. “Pakistan is among the top 10 countries affected by climate change.