Remarks at the Alfalfa Crop Ribbon-Cutting Ceremony

Consul General Zachary Harkenrider

Green Haven Farm, District Okara, Punjab

Mian Moazzam Watoo, CEO Green Haven Farm

Mian Manzoor Watoo, President Pakistan Peoples’ Party, Punjab

Representatives from S&W Seed Company

Members of the Media and Distinguished Guests,

Assalaam-u-Alaikum and thank you for the warm welcome.

It is an honor to be with you here today to mark the establishment of a joint venture agreement between S&W Seed Company of Fresno, CA and Green Heaven Farms here in Okara.  Under this agreement, these two companies will work together to cultivate the first alfalfa crop in Pakistan, which will give dairy farmers a healthier choice in fodder for dairy cows—one that has the potential to not only help farmers produce more milk, but a healthier product reliant on fewer chemicals.

I commend S&W for recognizing the economic potential of Punjab’s fertile fields and dedicated agricultural workers.  Green Heaven Farm has taken a great step forward by bringing this world-class agricultural technology from the United States to Pakistan.

This project is an example of how American and Pakistani companies can collaborate to benefit the economies of both countries.  In fact, the United States is both Pakistan’s largest export market and one of its largest investors.  Two-way trade already stands at $5 billion, with exports from Pakistan to the United States of $3.67 billion and imports from America of $1.52 billion.  Pakistan’s imports of U.S. agricultural products are on pace to reach a near record $500 million in 2015, and there is the potential for much more.  Pakistan has tremendous unlocked economic potential, and both of our countries – and the whole region – have much to gain from expanded bilateral trade and investment.

Business relationships are also relationships between people.  American businesses in Pakistan are actively promoting education, advancing healthcare, providing clean drinking water, and developing the skills of the local workforce. Perhaps most importantly, they create jobs and income, adding to our shared prosperity.

I am proud to welcome S&W to Pakistan, and grateful to Green Heaven for your kind welcome and the faith that you have shown in American agriculture.

You are now a part of the long story of business ties between our two countries, and I hope you will continue to be for a long time to come.

Thank you and Khuda Hafez.