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ISLAMABAD, Oct 21 (APP): Minister for National Food Security and Research, Sikandar Hayat Khan Bosan here on Friday said that draft of National Food Security Policy had been finalized in order to achieve zero hunger targets in the country.

Addressing an event organized to commemorate the World Food Day, he said that the document was presented to law makers and members of civil society for their input to make it a vibrant document to ensure food safety and security in the country.

The event was organized by the Pakistan Agriculture Research Council (PARC) to highlight the significance of the day and to create awareness about climate change and its after effects in agriculture sector of the country.

It may be mentioned here that every year World Food Day commemorated on October 16 to mark existence of Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) of the United Nations.

The theme of the day for this year was “Climate is changing, food and agriculture must too.”

The minister said that in food security policy document ample focus had been given to crop diversification, climate change, natural disasters and zero hunger programme.

He said there was an immense pressure on natural resources and environment due to intensification of crop and livestock sectors in order to feed ever growing population in the country.

As a result, he said it was experiencing rapid ground water depletion, watersheds degradation, desertification, deforestation and rangelands deterioration, he added.

Sikandar Bosan said that agri-sector was the most vulnerable due to the adverse impact of climate changes, which was effecting the struggle to ensure food security for over 180 million people in the country.

Pakistan, he said has an agrarian economy and a majority of the agro-based population was living in rural areas, which was contributing meagerly in green house gas emission.

But, he said that they were on the adverse risk of floods, droughts, storms, heat and cold waves which were badly effecting their crops and livelihoods.

The minister informed that government was taking measures to minimize the use of fossil fuel and introducing solar pumping system, besides shifting into climate smart crops cultivation and processing techniques.

Speaking on the occasion, FAO Representative in Pakistan, Patrick T. Evans stressed the need for mitigating the damage to climate by adapting echo-friendly food and agriculture production system.

He urged the need for working together to make the achievement of sustainable development goals a reality in Pakistan and to meet the food demand which would be up by 60 percent by 2050.

He also asked for taking appropriate measures in order to educate over 450 million small farmers across the glob about the climate change.

He informed that despite the abundant production of food and food products, 160 million children age of 5 years were stunted, where as over 800 million men, women and children across the glob were male nourished.

Speaking the event, World Food Programme Country Representative stressed the need for taking measures to improve the accessibility of to food by focusing the small holders.

In the event seven farmers including four women farmers were given cash awards of Rs.50,000 each for adopting climate smart agricultural practices.

An exhibition was also arranged that showcased the research that is being done in Pakistan in the agriculture sector.