ISLAMABAD, Pakistan: The Federal Minister for National Food Security and Research Sikandar Hayat Khan Bosan on Wednesday said that Pakistan had made significant progress in food security over the last several decades.
While speaking at the National Food Security Policy Workshop at National Agriculture and research Council (NARC) in Islamabad ad on Wednesday, the minister said that the Ministry of Food Security and Research took the immense initiative to formulate a national agriculture and food security policy.
The minister said that Pakistan also needs to continue to build the resilience of the agriculture sector to climate change risks.
Bosan 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.
“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,” he said.
The minister said that state is constituent provision of basic food to its people. He said that 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.
The federal minister said that in collaboration with other provinces, national and international partners. “We have been able to deliberate and finalize draft food security policy document.”
Bosan said that presently the production of food is more than its requirement across the globe. But unfortunately about 30-40 percent food is lost during production and post-harvest stages, he added.
The minister 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.
On the occasion, the Chairman PARC Dr. Yusuf Zafar 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.
The Chairman PARC said that this year we had record production of Corn, Sugarcane, Potato and Wheat. He said that proposed food security policy will be another major milestone.
“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 Minister for Food Security and Research Sikandar Bosan.
The Director General NARC Dr. Azeem Khan 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.
The 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.
Muhammad Abid Javed also paid vote of thanks to participants from the 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.