ISLAMABAD: Minister for National Food Security and Research Sikandar Bosan has said that a National Food Security Council is being set up under the chairmanship of the prime minister with the chief ministers and representatives from relevant government agencies to review the state of food security and take appropriate policy measures.
Addressing a press briefing on Tuesday, he said that the government in collaboration with the provincial governments was committed to ensure the availability and access of the people to safe and nutritious food. He said that the national food security was also considered as one of the important components of the national security.
Since creation of Pakistan, there has been no policy framework to address the challenges of the national food security, according to the minister. “Our government focused on this issue and assigned priority to formulate a strategic policy framework in collaboration with the provincial governments, international organisations and other relevant stakeholders,” he said.
He said that this policy document would provide a mechanism to address all four components of the food security including food availability, accessibility, utilisation and stability. The policy envisages achieving these objectives through alleviation of poverty, promotion of sustainable food production systems (by achieving an average growth rate of 4% per annum) and making agriculture more productive, profitable, climate resilient and competitive.
The minister said that the food availability would be ensured through increase in production of food items. He said that the measures would be taken to improve farmers’ access to quality inputs like seed, fertilisers, pesticides, credit etc. Furthermore, improved farm techniques/good agriculture practices (GAP) would also be promoted and issues like land and water management would also be addressed.
It may also be added here that this government has also formulated and formally launched the first-ever water policy, which becomes especially important in the wake of climate change and water shortages. Research will also be one of the priority areas to address the emerging challenges of the climate change, water stress, pests and diseases and other challenges.
Pakistan is blessed with different ecologies and under this policy framework, the federal and provincial governments would collaborate to harness best utilisation of available recourses to modernise agricultural production and improve accessibility of the people to food.