Mohammad Arshad Islamabad
The federal minister for National Food Security and Research, Syed Fakhar Imam, Monday, said that encouraging agriculture sector for quality production and value addition was an important pillar of our national strategy.
“Realizing the potential of agriculture and taking cognizance of the challenges related to agriculture, the present government has introduced “Prime Minister Agriculture Emergency Programme” worth Rs 277 billion to revolutionize the agriculture and livestock sectors” he said while addressing UKAID and SDPI meeting on ensuring food security through use of technology.
Minister highlighted that the objectives of the programme include improvements in water availability, soil conservation and shrimp farming.
In addition, the programme also includes establishing new agriculture markets which will protect farmers from the exploitation of middlemen.
He said that the programme’s vision is “food secure Pakistan, based on modern and efficient food production and distribution systems, can best contribute towards global stability and peace”.
The Government’s focus on adoption of new and emerging technology in agriculture sector is expected to improve the agriculture production and sustainability which ultimately help in achieving food security.
It was noted that the world has been facing a paradox of widespread food insecurity and malnutrition amid net food surpluses.
Increased food supplies do not automatically enhance access to food especially by the poorer groups of society. The situation in Pakistan is not a different one.
Food Minister said that according to the Constitution of the Islamic Republic of Pakistan the right to food as one of the Fundamental Rights and Principles of Policy.
Therefore, ending hunger is one of the priority areas of every regime in the country.
For example, to materialize such principle, food security and nutrition are highlighted among the main areas of focus to guide all governmental development initiatives with the vision of a Pakistan where “all people, at all times, have physical and economic access to sufficient, safe and nutritious food to meet their dietary needs and food preferences for an active and healthy life”.
In addition, he said that the Government of Pakistan has also expressed its strong commitment to adopt the global Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) as a national agenda, both at Federal and Provincial levels.
Within this framework, the achievement of food security is emphasized as a top priority for Pakistan, with the commitment to pursue the goal of “ending hunger, achieving food security and improved nutrition and promoting sustainable agriculture” (SDG 2) and the related targets.
Despite strong agricultural base, the country fares poorly with respect to indicators of food security.