Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Wikileaks food: Pakistan wants GMOs says xxxxxxxxxxxxx

Agricultural cooperation
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17. (SBU) Finance Minister Qamar described increasing
agricultural production as low hanging fruit, pledging that
agricultural development will be the "main thrust of economic
growth in the short term" as the income stays in the rural
areas, which serves to alleviate poverty. He advocated
strengthening the U.S.-Pakistan agricultural relationship.
Qamar reported that water utilization remains a constraint
for increased agricultural capacity; 60 percent of Pakistan's
irrigation water never reaches crops due to inadequate
irrigation systems and technology. Due to water constraints
that prevent more planting, xxxxxxxxxxxx opined that the integration of
genetically modified seeds is critical to increasing
agricultural productivity. He requested enhanced
U.S.-Pakistan collaboration on biotechnology research,
cooperative biosecurity training and assistance in improving
Pakistan agricultural value chains, particularly the use of
cold storage and cool chain techno
logies and methods. Finance Secretary Qayyum also discussed
more access to U.S. markets, noting their twelve year effort
to ship mangoes to the U.S. The Agricultural Counselor
replied that once the Cobalt 60 arrives and the irradiation

Islamabad 00003010 005 of 008

facility is operating, USDA will restart the mango
pre-shipment protocol. Also discussed were the ongoing
negotiations to resolve differences over wheat import permit
conditions so that U.S. commercial and food assistance wheat
shipments to Pakistan could resume.

(Thanks Ann)

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