CHITRAL: A three-member Chinese delegation on Thursday stressed the need for the development of agriculture and tourism sectors saying it will promise `food, fuel and income security` and thus, giving the people a sustainable livelihood.
The delegates are currently in Chitral at the invitation of the district government to explore the possibility of interaction between Gansu province of China and Chitral district.Led by Prof Long Ruijun of Launzhu University, the delegates told a seminar that Gansu province had become an agricultural hub producing more than 40 per cent of China`s fruits, vegetables and trout fish.
Prof Long said there was striking resemblance between the geographical features and climates of Chitral and Gansu and that both the regions were semi-arid zones and, therefore, the initiative in one area could be successfully replicated in the other.
He highlighted opportunities of bilateral support and cooperation in agricultural sector, including food processing and value addition, seed industry, small farming machinery, plastic film covered field, green house and family based biogas unit.The visitor said 30 years ago, Gansu was deficient in agricultural produce and therefore, became food insecure but the consistent efforts of farmers along modern scientific lines turned it into an agricultural hub providing the goods for which it earlier depended on other provinces.
`We have travelled in many valleys and found that the agricultural experiences of Gansu can be easily yet successfully replicated there to become selfsufficient in food supply,` he said.
Prof Long said the trout farming was flourishing in his province with its daily production running into hundreds of tons, while the fresh water of Chitral was ideal for trout farming, which could provide employ-ment to thousands of local residents.
He said there was a broad prospect of cooperation between the two areas in the wake of ChinaPakistan Economic Corridor project for which the two areas must start preparations by chalking out strategy, while it was pleasant to note that the district government was well aware of the situation.
District nazim Maghfirat Shah said his government was committed to preparing the people of Chitral for the post-CPEC scenario and therefore, it was making all possible efforts for the purpose.
`We will exploit all available resources for which linkage is being established and strengthened between Chitral and Gansu,` he said.–Published in awn on May 19, 2017.