Achieving food security, nutrition is high priority of government
State is constitutionally responsible for provision of basic food to its people. Pakistan has to surmount the great challenges for ensuring food availability, increasing accessibility, improving utilization and maintaining stability to achieve food security in real terms.
This was stated by Sikandar Hayat Khan Bosan, Federal Minister for National Food Security and Research on the occasion of National Food Security Policy Workshop at NARC. Federal Minister said that in collaboration with other provincial, national and international partners we have been able to deliberate and finalize food security policy document. He said that presently the production of food is more than its requirement across the globe. But unfortunately about 30-40% food is lost during production & post-harvest stages.
He said that contribution of all partners in food security policy deliberation was very high and the improvements suggested by the technical groups will help to further fine tune the policy document for forwarding to the cabinet for its approval. Pakistan has made significant progress in food availability over the last several decades.
He said that MNFS&R took the initiative to formulate a national agriculture and food security policy. He said that Pakistan also needs to continue to build the resilience of the agriculture sector to climate change risks. He said that these challenges could be managed through adopting soil and water conservation technologies, enhanced use of high efficiency irrigation systems, developing drought resistant varieties, and introducing climate smart agriculture. He said that I am confident that valuable suggestions from all stakeholders including provincial partners will help in a great deal to finalize this document for achieving food security and nutritional goals of the country.
At the occasion Dr. Yusuf Zafar (T.I), Chairman PARC said that we have achieved a growth of 3.46 which is just close to target of 3.5 and it was 0.2 in 2015-16. He said that this year we had record production of Corn, Sugarcane, Potato and Wheat. This we had never achieved during 70 years. He said that KISSAN package and consistent struggle being a practical farmer for this heroic struggle to strive for lowering input costs.
He said that proposed food security policy will be another major milestone. Supreme Goal for all activities had to make food system inclusive and resilient. This all we have to achieves in the back drop of rising population, climate change and enhanced food safety standards. For food security all major economies like USA, UK, EU, INDIA kept these sectors under one umbrella. He said that immense efforts have been made day and night by Dr. Azeem, DG NARC and his team to have a consensus policy which must not only be acceptable but owned by every segment of our society. We strongly hope and expect that today’s workshop will put final seal of approval for this pioneering National Food Security Policy to be placed on agenda of Federal Cabinet by our honorable Federal Minister. He said that every one linked with food will get benefits from this Food Security Policy. This occasion is considered extremely important.
Dr. Azeem Khan, DG NARC at the occasion described about food security policy with relevant implementation arrangements. He said that the policy will be presented to the federal cabinet for approval after fine-tuning.
Secretary for National Food Security and Research Muhammad Abid Javed hoped implementing the policy will help promote value-added food production while creating a new class of agricultural entrepreneurs. He also paid vote of thanks to participants i.e Ministry of Planning, Development and Reforms, Pakistan Agricultural Research Council, National Agricultural Research Centre, Agricultural Policy Institute; international organizations like FAO, ICIMOD, WFP; and provincial governments for providing valuable inputs during the whole process of preparing policy document.