Agricultural cooperation - - - - - - - - - - - - - ¶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.