‘Food insecurity is real problem in Pakistan’


“Food insecurity is the real problem of Pakistan as poor law and order situation and natural calamities have caused a sharp decline in food security across the country, regardless of adequate national food production to meet the needs of Pakistan’s 180 million people.
There is dire need to promote biotech/GM crops, modified through biotechnology, as the proper use of biotechnology approach is vital for rapid agriculture development and healthcare in the country.” These views were expressed by Director International Centre for Chemical and Biological Sciences (ICCBS), Karachi University (KU), Prof Dr M Iqbal Choudhary, while delivering a lecture at ICCBS.
He added that the simple reason for the success of biotech crops in the U.S., and in another 28 countries around the world, is that they generate significant and multiple benefits by reducing yield loss from insect pests, weeds and diseases, and also result in substantial savings of pesticides. He said: “Dr Clive James, Chairman of ISAAA present Crop Acreage Report on the June 2012 USDA. Dr. Clive James was of the view that U.S. farmers continue to demonstrate unprecedented confidence in biotech crops. Developing countries grew approximately 50 percent of global biotech crops in 2011 and are expected to exceed industrial countries’ land area devoted to the crops in 2012.”
Dr Iqbal asserted that biotechnology can bring food security in the country as the technology has great potential to enhance food production in the country by 5 to 6 per cent. He said that as per World Food Programme (WFP), Pakistani government has estimated that more than 20 million people across the country were affected by the flood crisis; of which more than 10 million were found to be in need of immediate assistance.
He said: “At time when nations all across the world are multiplying their agriculture productivity, preventing disease prevalence by universal vaccination, and solving the problem of environmental pollution, Pakistan has no national strategy and plan of action to use this revolutionary science for solving preventing problems and for rapid development. With massive population increase, the nation is leading towards a widespread famine and hunger. Biotech crops can increase productivity and income significantly, and hence, can serve as an engine of rural economic growth that can contribute to the alleviation of poverty for the world’s small and resource-poor farmers.
Several biotech crop tools, including tissue culture, diagnostics, genomics, molecular marker-assisted selection (MAS) and biotech crops can be used collectively for ‘speeding the breeding’ and help mitigate the effects of climate change.” Droughts, floods, and temperature changes are predicted to become more prevalent and more severe as we face the new challenges associated with climate change, and hence, there will be a need for faster crop improvement programs, he said and added that Pakistan, unfortunately, has no national strategy and plan of action to use this revolutionary science.


  1. I think food security is a major threat every country is facing and I think Pakistan is a serious victim of this disaster. Besides poor law which is a threat to the security of food I think the irresponsible government officials also are a real concern to this problem.

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