Islamabad, October 16, 2012 (PPI-OT): The World Food Day, being observed today, should serve to create greater awareness about the importance of developing agriculture to ensure food security for a rapidly growing population. The theme of the year “Agricultural cooperatives – key to feeding the world” rightly points out the important role agricultural cooperatives and small farmers can play in improving food security and eradicating hunger and undernourishment.
Agriculture in Pakistan is beset with many challenges. These include stagnancy in produce, water shortage, adverse impacts of erratic climatic changes, natural disasters land degradation. We need to minimize post-harvest losses, increase value addition and search for new markets so that the food is not wasted and the growers are benefited.
There is a great need for employing state-of-the-art technologies and reducing input costs. Facilitation of the farming community, especially the medium and small farmers and the promotion of agricultural cooperatives is another area that needs urgent attention.
The Government has accorded highest priority to agriculture and facilitating the farmer community. From the supply of seeds and provision of easy loans to significantly increasing the procurement prices of agricultural products, the Government has been offering numerous incentives to motivate formers to grow more food and create more job opportunities.
Our farming community deserves to be commended for demonstrating great resilience in withstanding the devastating impact of recurring natural disasters. Despite suffering huge losses as a result of unprecedented floods we have exportable surplus wheat.
The Sugarcane production today stands at a record 63 million tons and for the first time we expect 5 million tons of sugar production. Cotton production has also increased and reached a record 14.2 million bales. However, we need to do a lot more to realize the true potential of the agricultural sector.
On this occasion, I also call upon Ministry of National Food Security and Research (MNFSR) to urgently calk out a comprehensive national food security policy to further promote and develop the agricultural sector and to create conducive environment for the facilitation of the farmers and their associations.
The right to food for the people of Pakistan is also enshrined in the Constitution. The government feels duty bound to honor this fundamental right. I am confident that we will rise to the challenges of food security not only in Pakistan but also in other food deficit countries in the region so as to achieve the goal of Food Security for All.
For more information, contact:
Haji Ahmed Malik
Principal Information Officer
Press Information Department (PID)
Tel: +9251 925 2323 and +9251 925 2324
Fax: +9251 925 2325 and +9251 925 2326