ISLAMABAD, Oct 15 (APP):Minister for National Food Security and Research Syed Fakhar Imam Friday stressed the need to increase awareness about safe and nutritious food, and encourage the stakeholders to produce more nutritious food sustainably, and manage food waste.
He was speaking as chief guest at an event in connection with World Food Day (WFD) jointly organized by the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) and Ministry of National Food Security and Research here.
WFD is celebrated every year on October 16th– the founding day of the FAO, to raise awareness of the need for supporting the transformation to more efficient, inclusive, resilient and sustainable agri-food systems for better production, better nutrition, a better environment, and a better life, leaving no one behind.
he calls for action across sectors to ensure that our agri-food systems deliver enough affordable, nutritious and safe food for all.
Minister said that “we have to adopt an evidence- based approach to policy-making, by considering diverse areas impacting food systems including agriculture, education, environment, water, social protection and finance”.
Government’s farmer friendly and pro-export policies and financial assistance to vulnerable population through social protection programs (Ehsas) has helped them during these hard times of COIVD19 pandemic, he informed.
Famous celebrity Ms. Humaima Malik participated as World Food Day Ambassador to contribute in this social cause.
FAO Representative in Pakistan Florence Rolle said that COVID-19 pandemic has off tracked to meet our commitments to end world hunger and malnutrition. Between 720 and 811 million people in the world faced hunger.
Nearly 2.37 billion people did not have access to adequate food in 2020, an increase of 320 million people in just one year.No region of the world has been spared.
Conflict, climate variability and extremes, and economic slowdowns and downturns (now exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic) are major drivers of food insecurity and malnutrition.
She said that in the backdrop of these statistics, the UN Secretary-General, António Guterres convened the Food Systems Summit in September 2021 to forge consensus on bold new actions to transform the way the world produces, and consumes food, with an aim to get back on track to achieving the Sustainable Development Goals.
Secretary MNFS&R, Tahir Khursheed said that Pakistan has affirmed its commitment to the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals as its own national development agenda through a unanimous National Assembly Resolution.
In this context, The Prime Minister of Pakistan has launch Agricultural Emergency Program, having mega projects for productivity enhancement of major crops as well as improvement in livestock and water sector.
These projects are focusing on strengthening research activities and providing quality seed of improved varieties, farm machinery and improved production packages to the farmers, he added.
Acting Chairman PARC Dr. Ghulam Muhammad Ali said that today we are celebrating 41st World Food Day under the theme “Our actions are our future- better production, better nutrition, a better environment and a better life”.
Overall food self-sufficiency situation in the county is still fragile besides enhanced production of major commodities like wheat, sugarcane, rice etc.
The food security challenges have increased manifolds under prevailing scenario of COVID-19 pandemic where international trade, lockdown, closure of manufacturing sector and free movement of transport sector have slowed down drastically.
He also added that managing food and fiber security in future is more challenging and demanding than it was in the past keeping in view the quantity and quality of land, water, human labour available.