ISLAMABAD: Wheat support price for Rabi crop is expected to be announced next week, and currently the federal government is consulting provinces for a consensus to fix the support price.
“The purpose of consulting provinces is to fix a price which could equally benefit both growers as well as consumers,” said Federal Minister for National Food Security and Research Sikandar Hayat Khan Bosan here on Wednesday.
Bosan anticipated an acute shortage of water during the next five to seven years which would hamper country’s agriculture, and said it would be a great challenge as population is also increasing. He said that the government has started consultations on a food security policy which would be finalised by the end of December. The new policy would meet the challenges posed by the climate change.
The government, he said, has formed an inter-ministerial committee, comprising ministries of health, climate change and national food security so that a strategy could be evolved to cover people affected by food deficit and poverty, and early warning system for farmers so that they could save their crops.
Speaking at the World Food Day ceremony, the minister said that there was a time when governments wanted to accelerate growth in the grain harvest, and they simply raised the support price paid to farmers.
It may now depend more on policies in the ministries of health, family planning, climate change and energy rather than the ministry of agriculture alone.
Population growth, industrialisation and urbanisation continue as few of the driving forces behind major structural change in global food production and market systems.
The food day event was organised by the ministry of National Food Security and Research with the collaboration of FAO and WFP and included a short theatre play signifying the theme of ‘healthy people depend on healthy food system.’
Pakistan Agricultural Research Council Chairman Iftikhar Ahmad stressed the need for promoting urban agriculture.
FAO Representative in Pakistan Patrick Evans gave an overview of FAO projects in Pakistan and stressed the need for redoubling efforts for better utilisation of irrigation water, increasing resources for agriculture, lessening post-harvest losses, improving market mechanisms and educating farmers.
WFP Country Director in Pakistan, Lola Castro stated that WFP has been working on supporting the Salt Iodization programme and on a national strategy for wheat flour fortification to address micronutrient deficiencies while building up local capacity to mill and fortify 150,000 metric tonnes of wheat donated to WFP by the government. Courtesy dawn