ActionAid debate on food policy draft

Rasheed Khalid

food-policy-draftIslamabad: ActionAid Pakistan and Oxfam GB Pakistan jointly Organized National Debate on ‘National Food and Nutritional Policy Draft’, prepared by Ministry of National Food Security and Research.

The debate aimed at bringing stakeholders together to consolidate civil society recommendations about the draft. Government, media and civil society members and representatives of small holding farmers expressed their views and concerns on agriculture-related issues.

The issues that were voiced by the farmer representatives included water related problems, land grabs, hindrances caused by middle-men, lack of seeds and poor communication linkages with the markets.

Speaking on the occasion Seerat Asghar, Secretary Ministry of National Food Security and Research, emphasised that ensuring food security is government’s priority and that the Ministry is welcoming recommendations from all key stakeholders to ensure that the policy covers all relevant issues. He said that we all need to collectively realise that development of Pakistan mainly depends on agriculture and we need to work on it.

Based on the analysis of ‘Food Legislation in South Asia and its Link with Food Security,’ a research, undertaken by Oxfam and SDPI, it can be said that through enactment of different legislation and launching different plans and programmes from time to time, the Government of Pakistan was taking different steps to ensure food security for its citizens. However, food insecurity is becoming an emerging challenge for the country due to food inflation despite ample staple food crops production.

Some of the key recommendations formulated include that there should be more emphasis on farmer-led initiatives and the policy should speak about inflation and food price volatility, addressing the issue of land grabbing and land degradation.

The report said that the effects of climate change should be very well integrated in the policy ensuring availability of seeds and provision of adequate water should also be included together with access to credit, market and extension services. Courtesy The News

Agriculture in Pakistan, Food

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