Pak-China Bio-health Agriculture park inaugurated: Prof Zhang Lixian

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BEIJING, Dec 18 (APP): After thirteen years of endeavor from both Pakistani and Chinese sides, the Pak-China Bio-health Agriculture Demonstration Park was finally inaugurated this year, said Prof. Zhang Lixin from Northwest Agriculture and Forestry University, Xianyang, China.

The concept of “Biohealth Agriculture” (BHA) was put forward by Prof Zhang Lixin in 2017 at the first International Symposium on the Belt and Road Bio-health. It refers to a modern way of agricultural production that employs advanced biotechnology and processes and can be applied to crop cultivation, livestock farming, rural tourism, farm produce, etc.

Subsequently, Silk Road Bio-health Agricultural Industry Alliance and China-Pakistan Agricultural Biological Resources Research Center were formed in a bid to provide safe and green bio-health agricultural produce.

The recent third International Symposium on the Belt and Road Bio-Health draws the participation of 54 Pakistani scientists.

“The demonstration park is more than a limited stretch of land. Rather, it is a platform that facilitates Pak-China cooperation in scientific research, talent cultivation, international exchanges, and technology transfer”, Prof Zhang told China Economic Net.”

“The agriculture sector in Pakistan faces major challenges like depleting water resources, lack of technology and innovation, and low quality of seeds.

Therefore, bio-health agriculture practices should be promoted, as they will not only support Pakistan’s food security but also help export to China and other countries”, analyzed Naheeda Begum, Botany Ph.D. in Northwest Agriculture and Forestry University and currently a post-doctoral candidate of Nanjing Agriculture University.”

In the universities of Lahore, Faisalabad, and Bahauddin Zakariya, demonstration sites have been established. An assortment of food, such as maize, wheat, chili, carrot, and spinach are under research. Nano and earthworm fertilizers have been introduced.

For example, new wheat varieties that combine Chinese and Pakistani germplasms and have the potential to increase the yield by 2.7% per annum have accounted for 3% of the total in Punjab.

For now, three Pakistani students are committed to their construction. “In the near future, more Chinese and Pakistani students will be involved”, said Prof Zhang. “The flourishing of the bio-health agriculture also requires the participation of more enterprises”.

Looking ahead, Naheeda recommends more workshops to be organized in different regions of Pakistan to raise the awareness of farmers and landowners. “Also, the modern techniques in China like compound planting, smart agriculture gain, greenhouse, and good varieties should be applied in Pakistan.”

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