ISLAMABAD, Pakistan: The Minister for National Food Security and Research Syed Fakhar Imam addressed the participants of the International Conference on “Best practices for building sustainable Food Systems in OIC Region” held in virtual format on July 14, 2021.
The Conference was organized by the Islamic Organization for Food Security (IOFS) in collaboration with various international research organizations.
The minister informed that Pakistan is blessed with a rich natural resource base for agriculture. He said that we are among the top 10 procedures of Wheat, Rice, Sugarcane, and certain fruits.
However, despite having one of the world-best alluvial soils and the best irrigation system; we could not fully harness the potential of our agricultural sector.
Syed Fakhar Imam said that the main issues of our agriculture sector include lack of quality seed, cold storage facilities, farm mechanization, trained manpower, post-harvest management, processing industries, and digital agriculture platforms, etc.
The minister for national food security and research said that under the dynamic leadership of Prime Minister Imran Khan, our government has prioritized the agriculture sector. He said that we are working to diversify this sector by enhancing focus on high-value horticultural crops, oilseeds, and pulses.
The minister told that our government is also taking a keen interest in livestock breed improvement, water conservation, and promoting farm mechanization. He told that we are supporting farmers by furnishing quality seeds of improved varieties, providing farm machinery at subsidized rates, and disseminating improved production packages.
The minister said that due to the excellent agricultural policies of our government; despite the COVID pandemic and locust attack, the production of wheat, rice, maize, and sugarcane has increased to a record level.
Syed Fakhar Imam told the participants that this year has been remarkable for the agriculture sector of Pakistan, and our economy got a boost with the record agricultural production, indicating a lesser reliance on food imports in 2021-22. Additionally, due to our favorable policies and interventions, the exports of agro-commodities have also increased significantly.
The minister said that considering the role of provinces, our government is also engaging diversified stakeholders as the best tactic for building a sustainable food system in Pakistan. These strategic initiatives will help to improve the public health situation, which is reflecting high rates of stunting, he added.