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Pakistan now has to import food, regrets minister

Pakistan now has to import food, regrets minister

ISLAMABAD: Minister for National Food Security and Research Khusro Bakhtiar on Wednesday expressed concern that Pakistan, which used to export food items, has now been transformed into a food-importing country.

Presiding over a meeting of the Pakistan Agriculture Research Council board, the minister said that the situation was very serious and the threat of climate change was showing signs by creating a colossal damage.

He said that currently the country faced degradation and depletion of natural resources, including water, climate change, resource conflicts, rapid urbanisation, malnutrition and hunger and poverty.

“Being an agriculture country there is a need to improve the performance of the farm sector,” said Mr Bakhtiar, who is also president of Pakistan Agriculture Research Council’s Board of Governors.

The minister said that food security means when people have access to healthy and nutritious food and it is very encouraging to know that Parc was instrumental in developing the first-ever food security policy after the creation of new ministry and it is satisfying to know that the same policy is now under implementation.

He ensured that Parc’s current financial crunch in disbursing pension and other end service benefits would be cleared through consistent mutual efforts.

The meeting noted that to address these challenges, the agriculture sector needs proper attention at all levels for brining improvement in productivity.

Published in Dawn, January 9th, 2020

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