Resultoriented policies needed to ensure food security: Speakers

Islamabad: Speakers at a consultation moot called for devising resultoriented policies to boost agriculture sector and ensure food security in the country.

Addressing National Consultation organized by Society for Conservation and Protection of Environment SCOPE in collaboration with Alliance Against Hunger and Malnutrition AAHM National Chapter Pakistan, Oxfam Novib Pakistan and Oxfam GROW at a local hotel here on Tuesday,

Tanveer Arif, Chief Executive, SCOPE elaborated that AAHM, which is a global network of intergovernmental organizations and civil society, formed as a follow up of World Food Summit in 2005. AAHM Pakistan chapter is consisting on civil society, government organizations and experts.

He said that AAHM Pakistan has developed advocacy strategy which aims at supporting government initiatives of National Food Security and Nutrition Policy and Zero Hunger Programme. “Pakistan is far behind in reaching Millennium Development Goals MDGs which is a global target to be achieved by 2015.

Agriculture and food security development is very low in view of MDGs. Pakistan has 52 percent food insecure people. FATA tops in food insecurity, Balochistan is at second, Sindh at third and Punjab at fourth number,” said Amjad Nazeer, a consultant and agriculture expert.

He said that due to poverty and unemployment, people are migrating to urban areas from rural areas. He said that right to food for people is incorporated in the Constitution and the government is duty bound to it. Hence agroindustrial and agriculture polices should be devised by incorporating public views and demands so as to overcome food insecurity and bolster agriculture sector.

This will help bring major development in the country, he said. Nazeer said that availability of food, agriculture production, fishing, and livestock is not enough. The government needs to make hectic efforts to enhance agriculture sector to ensure food security and alleviate poverty, he added.

President Bhandar Sangat Taj Marri said that the use of machinery is putting burden on economic position of farmers as they get a meager profit from the crop production as compared to the farming without machinery. He said the government and landlords are depriving farmers of their due rights. Corporate farming is harmful for farmers and food security.

“The corporate farming has also been started in Matiary, Thatta and Nawabshah, Mirpurkhas districts of Sindh, which needs to be stopped. He said that people of rural areas are migrating to cities due to poverty and unemployment. There is need to make hectic efforts to overcome poverty and food security issues in the country through joint efforts by civil society, Marri said.

Ali Raza Jamali, Director Agriculture Extension, Government of Balochistan, said that due to blockage of Right Bank Outfall Drain, agriculture land and cultivation in three districts of Balochistan has completely ruined in last three consecutive years that include Jafferabad, Naseerabad and Jhal Magsi. Dr Wajid Pirzada, representative of UN/WFP, said that we should know the reasons behind the vulnerability of food security and conduct research. Informed policy should be devised to raise awareness among farmers about agriculture issues, so that they could be resolved amicably. He said that rural areas of Sindh are food insecure while Punjab is also victim of it despite having fertile land. He stressed the need to formulate resultoriented policies to boost agriculture sector.

Pakistan is also facing climate change challenge, which need to be tackled in right way, he added.

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