The opening ceremony of the Workshop on Locusts and Other Plant Pests and Diseases Management for Pakistan was held virtually in Beijing recently. Tang Renjian, Minister of Agriculture and Rural Affairs of China, sent a written message, and Syed Fakhar Imam, Pakistan’s Federal Minister for National Food Security and Research, delivered a speech via video.
Minister Tang said China-Pakistan agricultural cooperation has entered a new era thanks to the support and work of the leaders of both countries. In March 2020, China and Pakistan signed Memorandum of Understanding on Strengthening Cooperation in Plant Pests and Diseases Management, which identified measures for pragmatic cooperation in plant pests and diseases management, including setting up the China-Pakistan Center for Sustainable Management of Plant Pests and Diseases. The workshop is a good example of the efficient cooperation between China and Pakistan in areas of common interest. It also signifies the official launch of the China-Pakistan Center for Sustainable Management of Plant Pests and Diseases. Minister Tang said he believes that with constant efforts by both sides, China and Pakistan can reap more benefits from agricultural cooperation.
Minister Syed Fakhar Imam said Pakistan suffered a severe desert locust infestation last year. China sent a team of experts to Pakistan to help it fight the desert locusts and donated locust-control pesticide and equipment in a timely manner. On behalf of the Pakistani people, he expressed his heartfelt gratitude to the Chinese government. He said he believes Pakistan can definitely better control the desert locust swarms this year.
Representatives from the Department of International Cooperation of the Ministry of Agricultural and Rural Affairs, the Academy for International Business Officials of the Ministry of Commerce, the Chinese Embassy in Pakistan, and the National Agro-Tech Extension and Service Center (NATESC) attended the ceremony.
The workshop, organized by NATESC, constitutes an important part of China’s foreign aid and training program. It will last for five days. A number of leading experts from the Chinese Academy of Sciences, the Chinese Academy of Agricultural Sciences, and China Agricultural University have been invited. They will give practical and targeted lessons concerning suggestions for monitoring and controlling locust infestations in Pakistan, locust transformation mechanisms, locust management, and grassland locust prevention and control skills.