Pakistani agricultural products have huge potential, if they are processed into valueadded products, underlined Japan Ambassador Wada Mitsuhiro.

In a meeting with Minister for National Food Security and Research Syed Fakhar Imam on Thursday, the envoy pointed out that Pakistan was among the biggest exporters of shrimp, mango, dates and rice to Japan.

He pointed out that Japan had a substantial market for seafood, and showed great interest in importing fishery products from Pakistan.

He mentioned that Japan was eyeing to increase bilateral trade between the two countries. In this regard, the two dignitaries agreed to enhance cooperation and collaboration, especially in the agriculture sector.

On the occasion, the food security minister emphasised that the two countries could immensely benefit from exchange of agricultural research and value-addition technologies.

Praising the mechanisation in Japan, Imam underscored that the two sides had a huge trade potential.

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“Pakistan has immense export potential with respect to citrus fruit, rice, mango, onion, potato, fishery products, livestock, etc,” he highlighted, adding that Pakistan had around 8 million tonnes of rice that could be exported.

Imam acknowledged that Pakistan should invest in the value-added industry in order to take full advantage of the agricultural produce.

Pakistan exported around 144,000 tonnes of mango to the international market, he revealed, adding that the country faced a number of challenges but with right policy interventions the agriculture sector could be transformed.

The agriculture sector had stuck to the traditional techniques and “it is time that we start looking ahead in terms of modernisation”, he said.