Malaysia to import food products from Pakistan
Pakistan and Malaysia have decided to further enhance bilateral cooperation in the field of agriculture with Malaysia agreeing to import more livestock, fish, rice, beef, fruits & vegetables from Pakistan.
"We are already importing a considerable amount of rice, fruits and other food products from Pakistan and we want this cooperation to grow further in the coming months," said Malaysia's Agriculture and Agro-based Industry Minister Datuk Seri Noh Omar during a meeting with Pakistan's Minister for National Food Security & Research Mir Israrullah Zehri in Kuala Lumpur, said a statement received here on Thursday.
Pakistan's Acting High Commissioner to Malaysia Mohammad Nadeem Khan, Secretary-General of Malaysia's Ministry of Agriculture and Agro-based Industry Malaysia Datuk Mohd Hashim Abdullah, Chairman Malaysia-Pakistan Business Council Datuk Salim bin Fateh Din, Director General Federal Agriculture and Marketing Authority (Fama) Dr Ahmad and Under Secretary Strategic Planning and International Division, MOA, Malaysia Mr. Muhammad Salimi Bin Sajari were also present.
During the meeting, Malaysia's Agriculture and Agro-based Industry Minister Datuk Seri Noh Omar mentioned about 171 buffalos which were given to Malaysia by the Government of Punjab and called for relaxing the procedure for importing more animals from Pakistan as Malaysia was in need of many more.
He also appreciated the quality of Pakistani fruits specially mangoes and kinoos and hoped that the quantum of fruits being imported from Pakistan will increase with the passage of time. Datuk Seri Noh Omar noted that following his visit to Pakistan, three separate MoUs had been signed between the two governments for exchange of scientific knowledge and technology cooperation as well as for the import and distribution of fruit juices, fruit-based consumer products and frozen beef from Pakistan to Malaysia.
Similarly, a Letter of Intent had also been signed between the Government of Punjab and the Department of Veterinary Services Malaysia for expanding cooperation in the veterinary sector. Datuk Seri Noh Omar said the Malaysian government had moved swiftly on implementing these MoUs and it had already granted license for export of
Pakistani beef to Malaysia while a total of 171 animals, including Neeli Ravi buffaloes, had also been imported from Pakistan for developing "our buffalo industry and improving their gene pool".
He also referred to the growing import of Pakistani rice to Malaysia which imported 43,000 MT of Pakistani rice in 2009 but increased it to 123,000 MT in 2010 and to a sizeable 148,000 MT in 2011 respectively. Mir Israrullah Zehri thanked his Malaysian counterpart for inviting him to attend the Malaysian Agriculture, Horticulture and Agro-tourism Show (MAHA) 2012 and urged the Malaysian government to consider increasing import of beef and mutton from Pakistan as quality of meat was very good and the slaughtering of animals was in accordance with Halal standards.
He also invited his Malaysian counterpart to visit Pakistan in February 2012 to attend the livestock fair held in Sibi Balochistan.
Later, Mir Israrullah Zehri visited various pavilions and stalls set up at MAHA 2012. He evinced keen interest in various products, food items and livestock put on display.
On the occasion, he also spoke to the local media and shared with them various proposals and measures currently being pursued by Pakistan and Malaysia to enhance mutual cooperation in a diverse range of fields, including import of agricultural machinery and equipment; techniques of horticulture fruit-growing and vegetable gardening; plant protection and fertilizers; livestock farming and breeding; Green House technology; feed and feedstuff production; veterinary medicine; fish farming; energy-saving technologies for agriculture; production of biomass fuel, biogas, biodiesel, renewable and alternative energies (Biofuel); and water management and forestry.