Steps being taken to provide essential food items to flood victims

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The National Food Secretary on Friday informed the meeting of National Flood Response Coordination Center, held under chairmanship of its Deputy Chairman Ahsan Iqbal, that measures are being taken at an emergency level to provide essential food items, including onions and tomatoes, to the flood victims.

He said that Pakistan is not expecting a food shortage as there is a ‘sufficient quantity’ of food stock in the country.

All chief secretaries and federating units participated in the meeting in which a detailed review of food security was conducted.

He said that the quantity of the present stock of food grains is sufficient and if timely measures are taken before the cultivation of the next crop, there will be “no shortage of food in Pakistan”.

The forum was directed to prepare a strategy to ensure not only a sufficient supply of wheat, rice, pulses and other essential commodities but also a plan to deliver these items to people in flood affected areas, while also ensuring no shortage of food items for the people in the country.

The forum specifically issued instructions to avoid any kind of hoarding and requested the provinces to take legal action against all hoarders creating artificial scarcity by hoarding these commodities and causing an increase in prices.

In an earlier meeting, the national food secretary said that Pakistan’s annual requirement of wheat is 30.5 million tonnes, whereas, two million tonnes are strategic reserves, adding that presently, 7.07 million tonnes including two million tonnes for seeds are available in the country, which is approximately 153 days of stock.

He explained that the available stock is sufficient until it is time for the new wheat production to be harvested. Moreover, he assured early procurement of seeds for the next season.

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