The government is in process of preparing a pilot project on National Zero Hunger and Family Farming Programme which would be implemented in food insecure areas.
National Zero Hunger Cell in Ministry of National Food Security and Research was established to prepare the pilot project before launching of larger National Zero Hunger Programme.
Official sources on Sunday said in order to initiate the process of preparation of the pilot programme, a national mapping exercise was jointly undertaken by World Food Programme (WFP), Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) and the concerned ministry to gain better understanding of ongoing programmes relating to school feeding, nutrition support, income generation and family farming support.
The sources said during the mapping exercise it was agreed that provinces would be taken into confidence before finalization of the programme.
The programme will be implemented in most food insecure areas of all provinces in coordination with provincial governments.
The pilot project will help analyze the effects of the proposed intervention in each province and to incorporate lessons and experiences gathered, into a more comprehensive programme.
Answering a question regarding levels of hunger and malnutrition in the country, the sources said the last National Nutrition Survey (NNS) was conducted by Aga Khan University’s Division of Women and Child Health, Ministry of Health and United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF).
Ministry of National Health Services is also planning to conduct a National Nutrition Survey in 2017-18 by which latest information will be available.
It is also important to mention that during the last three years in Pakistan food items like wheat, rice, maize, potatoes, onion, mango, citrus; palm dates, milk, meat etc. were produced in surplus as per country requirement.
The sources said for revitalization of agriculture, federal government has taken some steps including prime minister’s Kissan Package, concessions of taxes and duties, reduction in prices of fertilizer, enhancement in target of agriculture credit and also guarantee scheme for small and marginalized farmers, reduction of cost of credit, concessional electricity tariff for agriculture tube wells, concession of customs duty for dairy, livestock and poultry sectors, concessions of customs duty for fish farming, relief on cool chain machinery, exemption of sales tax on pesticides, exemption to Silos, Crop Loan Insurance Scheme (CLIS), interest free loans for solar tube wells for irrigation water pumping, increase in Value of Production Index Units (PIU), reduction in sales taxes on tractors, incentives for processing industries of special areas and air freight subsidy.