About the Author: Rick Snelsire serves as Spokesperson at U.S. Embassy Islamabad.
The 3rd meeting of the Strategic Dialogue on Agriculture under the Pakistan-U.S. Strategic Dialogue framework was held in Islamabad on June 15, 2010. Secretary, Ministry of Food & Agriculture Mr. Junaid Iqbal led the Pakistani side, assisted by Malik Zahoor Ahmad, Chair / Chief Coordinator of the Strategic Dialogue Secretariat. The U.S. delegation was co-chaired by Ms. Darci Vetter, Deputy Under Secretary for Farm and Foreign Agricultural Services, U.S. Department of Agriculture and Mr. James Bever, Assistant Administrator of USAID.
During the deliberations, participants agreed to strengthen collaborative research and to broaden private sector support for economic growth in the agriculture sector. It was agreed that both sides would continue to work together to modernize Pakistan's agricultural sector to ensure adequate supply of food items; foster faster economic growth; alleviate poverty and enhance rural employment. Areas identified for future cooperation include crop productivity enhancement, particularly, in wheat and cotton, animal and plant diseases; dairy development; horticulture, market access for Pakistani products including mangoes and capacity building in SPS issues as well as various other areas of research development and extension and water management.
The last meeting of the agriculture track was held in Washington in March 2010, after agriculture was added as a separate track in the second round of Strategic Dialogue in 2007. Since then, two meetings of the track have been held so far.
United Sates and Pakistan have a long history of bilateral cooperation in agriculture. This has enabled Pakistan to successfully address its food security issues for nearly three decades through the green revolution. Establishment of agriculture universities, Pakistan Agricultural Research Council and training of Pakistani agricultural scientists in the United States are examples of the long-standing cooperation between the two countries.
Read more about the discussions on the U.S. Department of Agriculture website here.