Staff Reporter Karachi
The Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) of the United Nations on Tuesday held a public consultation workshop under the Sindh Agriculture Policy 2018-2030 to validate a proposed Fisheries Action Plan for Sindh province. The workshop was attended by Secretary Livestock and Fisheries, Director General Marine Fisheries, representatives of International Trade Centre, World Wildlife Fund, Pakistan Fisherfolk Forum, private fisheries businesses, seafood processors and exporters.
FAO Pakistan, through European Union-assisted Food Security and Nutrition Impact, Resilience, Sustainability and Transformation (FIRST) programme, is seeking to help deepen the dialogue between different sectors with a stake in food security, through its policy assistance service, supporting evidence-based decision making and analysis of proposed policy frameworks and action plans.
In Sindh, it has helped build capacity of the government officials of the Livestock & Fisheries Department over 2019-2021 in formulating its action plan with a view to making the case for more targeted investment in the fisheries and aquaculture sector to meet modern requirements for quality, efficiency and profitability.
FAO Policy Officer Ms. Genevieve Hussain highlighted that the government is keen, through the policy, to create an efficient, prosperous and resilient food production sector that can provide good incomes and decent employment to those involved in fisheries and aquaculture sector, and at the same time provide safe and nutritious food to urban and rural populations.
“Fisheries is indeed an industry where there are complex trade-offs between sustainability, growth, inclusion of smaller fisherfolk and conservation of natural resources” she said. Country and provincial governments need to arrive at compromises that meet the desires of different size fishing operations, nutritional needs of the people, and economic aspirations of the fishing communities. Secretary Sindh Livestock & Fisheries Department, Mr. Aijaz Ahmed Mahesar, expressed appreciation for the efforts of FAO in both the formulation of policy and development of action plans under it, saying, “without an Action Plan there can be no budgetary allocation.