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ISLAMABAD: Belarus is willing to support the joint production of tractors in Pakistan along with other farm machinery, said Belarus’ Deputy Minister Dmitry Korchik on Tuesday.

He said that Belarus needs support to find new partners for production of Belarusian tractors to broaden its agro-machinery partnership in Pakistan. He acknowledged that the South Asian country has enormous potential in the agriculture sector as it can benefit from modernising unmanned harvesting patterns.

The potential for bilateral investment was discussed by a visiting Belarus’ delegation who met with the Minister for National Food Security and Research Muhammad Mehboob Sultan.

The Belarusian minister said that the East European country has developed advanced harvesters and other agro-machinery which can help improve Pakistan’s agriculture sector.

The next meeting of Pak-Belarus Joint Working Group will take place in second half of 2019, and before the meeting, the two countries will also hold bilateral talks on agriculture particularly in areas relating to joint ventures, he added.

During the fourth session of joint working group on agriculture, both countries have already agreed on cooperation in the development of farm machinery, equipment and implements. Pakistan’s imports from Belarus stood at $45.13 million in 2017-18, which mainly consisted of agricultural tractors.

Mehboob Sultan informed the visiting minister that Pakistan is moving towards achieving the maximum agricultural output through mechanisation, and the country needs harvesters, tractors and other farm machinery.

The present government is encouraging the private sector to come forward and enter into joint ventures with potential foreign investors in the agriculture field, he said.

Published in Dawn, February 20th, 2019