Steps proposed for promoting food security
04 August, 2013
PESHAWAR: Speakers at a consultation meeting have expressed concern over growing food insecurity in the country and proposed that the new national food and nutrition security policy must prioritise small scale farmers and protect them from multinational seed companies.
The provincial level consultation on ‘national food and nutritional security policy’ was organised by Actionaid Pakistan at a local hotel here on Saturday.
Highlighting the food insecurity issues the participants reviewed the draft of national food and nutrition policy and recommended that the government should ensure to significantly reduce number of food insecure people from 60 percent by promoting sustainable agriculture, including local seed and fertilisers, efficient water use and small scale focused markets.
Agriculture expert Allahdad from Peshawar highlighted the gaps in the proposed food security policy. He suggested that there was a need to include a comprehensive sustainable agriculture plan in the policy focusing to bridge the yield gap, promote organic fertilisers, local seeds, efficient water use and effective targeted programme and other safety nets.
Jamsher Khan, a farmer from Buner district, said that the new food security policy must protect small scale farmers from the influence of multinational seed companies and promote local seeds to ensure local food security.
He said that the policy must prioritise small scale farmers and ensure to provide targeted subsidies to them. He said that small farmers must have easy access to fertilisers, quality seeds and other facilities so that they could meet their daily needs.
Liaquat Yousafzai, provincial coordinator of Pakistan Kissan Ittehad, said that the policy had ignored the small farmers’ capacity building. He said that the policy must ensure small scale farmers’ easy access to credit and promote diversification of livelihoods.—Bureau Report Courtesy dawn.