Meeting with Dutch Ambassador Mrs. Jeannette Seppen
Dutch Ambassador Mrs. Jeannette Seppen called on the Federal Minister for National food security and Research; Mr. Sikandar Hayat Khan Boson on April 26th here in Islamabad. Pakistan and Netherlands enjoy friendly relations and Netherlands is one of the largest trading partners of the Pakistan in European Union. Various areas of cooperation especially in agriculture and dairy sector were discussed. The Dutch ambassador showed her pleasure about the success of “salt tolerant potato” project in Pakistan as it would be possible to get the product from a saline land which otherwise remains arid. The Netherlands is focusing on dairy sector and the ambassador informed the Minister that at the end of the month of May this year a trade mission is coming to Pakistan with as much as nine projects and six out of those project would focus dairy sector in Pakistan, the rest would take trade, seed areas into account. The federal Minister directed his team to take necessary measures for the success of upcoming the mission and assured the Ministry’s full cooperation in this regard. He further told the ambassador that this time around the country has a surplus potato yield which is encouraging. The Ministry with a full cooperation from the allied institutions is striving to achieve zero hunger and food security in the country. The Dutch ambassador briefed the Minister that agriculture is top most priority of the agenda in area of mutual cooperation. The Dutch Ambassador assured the necessary assistance for imparting the training to farmers and professionals in the field of farming, horticulture and related areas. In the meeting the cooperation in the field of technology regarding renewable energy, vegetable sector, training programs, the export of rice, kinno and mango were discussed.
Moreover the major focus in the meeting was seed potato situation in Pakistan, as we import major chunk of potato seed varieties especially from Netherlands. There is a regular interaction of private seed sector of Pakistan with seed potato institutions of Netherlands. The Dutch technology along with collaboration from Dutch public and private sector is requested to revive the enabling environment for the production of certified potato seed. Federal Secretary, Additional Secretary of the ministry, members from NARC and experts were also present in the meeting.