The Federal Minister of National Food Security and Research Syed Fakhar Imam has reaffirmed that Pakistan is ready to work with the international community to promote more ambitious collective actions to address the problem of food security in the world.
The minister made these remarks while addressing the seventh D-8 Agricultural Ministerial Meeting on “Agriculture and Food Security: Promoting Climate Smart Agriculture” on January 13, 2022.
The meeting was attended Ministers of Agriculture/Live Stocks/ Rural Development and Heads of Delegation of the People’s Republic of Bangladesh, Arab Republic of Egypt, Republic of Indonesia, Islamic Republic of Iran, Malaysia, Federal Republic of Nigeria, Islamic Republic of Pakistan, and the Republic of Turkey.
In his address, Syed Fakhar Imam said that this conference has provided us a platform where we can make commitment to eradicate poverty, end hunger, combat climate change, and address the challenge of reducing food loss and waste.
“I would like to appreciate the organizers for raising global awareness on the issue of food loss and waste,” he said.
The minister said that climate change has become the most significant challenge to achieve sustainable development goals and it threatens to drag millions of people into never-ending poverty food insecurity. He continued that agriculture is the foundation of food security in the developing World.
Fakhar Imam said that it not only provides essential food for human consumption and feed for livestock but also provides raw materials for industry and value-added products for both domestic consumption and international markets.
The minister said that there is a need to transform agriculture sector to such a vibrant and resilient scale where it can withstand the impacts of climate change and protect the livelihoods of dependent farming communities and agro-industries and its contributions to the global greenhouse gas emissions are at the minimum possible levels.
Imam said that the Ministry of National Food Security and Research (MNFS&R) through the Pakistan Agricultural Research Council (PARC) has done some pioneer work regarding research and development of Climate Smart Agriculture (CSA).
“I would therefore urge that PARC along with suitable organizations from other countries should be made part of this initiative right from the planning stage,” he said.
The federal minister said that due to the excellent agricultural policies of the government; despite the COVID pandemic, the production of wheat, rice, maize, sugarcane, potato, onion and groundnut has increased to a record level.
This year has been remarkable for 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, including mango by 28.6%, citrus 31.25% and potatoes 28%.
Fakhar Imam said that he was very pleased to know that the D-8 Secretariat has taken this initiative at the right time.
“I am also hopeful that this program and planned actions will be a helpful for sustainable agricultural development and food security in D-8 Countries,” he said.