Prospect bright for China-Pakistan cooperation in cotton research, industrialization

BEIJING, Nov 20 (APP): As China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) being the flagship project of Belt and Road Initiative, it surely promises a bright prospect in cotton research and industrialization between China and Pakistan, with the concept of extensive consultation, joint contribution and shared benefits,” said Zhang Rui, Director, Center for Molecular Biology of Crops, Biotechnology Institute, CAAS.

She said China and Pakistan are among the few countries with complete cotton industrial value chain in the world.

Despite the fact that both countries boast basically the same cotton plantation areas, China ranked the second globally in terms of cotton production while Pakistan stood at the fourth place, she said at a Webinar held here.

As per the facts lying behind the enormous gap of yield based on the virtually same planting areas, Zhang explained that it mainly attributed to the advantages that China had in cotton research and industrialization, including advanced biological breeding technology for cotton, high-quality cotton seed production technology and high-yield and high-efficiency cultivation and management technique for cotton.

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“In China, the production technology of cotton seed is standardized, and the standardized cotton seed production technology has enabled the rate of seed germination to reach above 85%,” Zhang further explained, by citing Xinjiang, the main cotton producing area in China, where the temperature is relatively lower, but the plastic film covering technology helps raise the temperature of soil, thus promoting the germination and growth of seeds.

Besides, she mentioned the advancement of smart agriculture, saying “what is thriving in China presently is smart agriculture, which can make the cultivation and management of cotton more feasible, realize the prevention and control of plant diseases and insect pests, and predict the yield in advance.”

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However, common challenges still exist for cotton production in both China and Pakistan. “As climate changes, we both need to create new cotton germplasm that is resistant to both biological and abiotic stresses, develop high-quality and long-fiber cotton,

establish and improve mechanized planting and harvesting, and optimize management measures for planting and cultivation,” Zhang stated.

Regarding the cooperation in cotton industry between China and Pakistan, Zhang listed the achievements made under CPEC, such as the establishment of China-Pakistan Cotton Biotechnology Joint Laboratory, which aimed at introducing high technology into Pakistan, as well as a comprehensive platform for agricultural technical cooperation.

Themed China-Pakistan Agricultural Cooperation and Prospects, the webinar was jointly held by China Economic Net, the Institute of Peace and Diplomatic Studies (IPDS) under the guidance of the Chinese Embassy in Pakistan and the Pakistani Embassy in China.