Growing population and diminishing national resources pose the greatest challenge to all the governments of the world. It is the prime responsibility of all the governments to provide sufficient healthy and nutritious food to its population.
This year’s theme of World Food day is “Sustainable Food Systems for Food Security and Nutrition”. My government expresses its full support to FAO’s theme and stands committed to our people for a better prosperous tomorrow.
For Pakistan the challenge of Food Security is even more important and sensitive. The pace of population growth in Pakistan is faster than many countries in the world. It is estimated that by 2050, Pakistan’s population will be around 342 million making it the 3rd most populous country in the world.
The growing population, resource degradation and lack of coherent and well planned agricultural strategies, in the past, have resulted in increased poverty and income disparities. As a result of this poverty, a large segment of the society has been marginalized and is not capable to participate effectively in the economic growth and development of the country. Poverty also provides breeding ground for crimes and terrorism.
My government is fully cognizant of these problems. We fully understand that without the development of agriculture on scientific grounds, the goal of self-sufficiency and poverty eradication cannot be achieved. Knowledge intensive farming, today, requires very strong support of highly skilled service providers such as skilled farm workers and managers and allied non-farm technicians and entrepreneurs. This would create millions of jobs in the rural areas
My government’s policies focus on the amelioration of social condition of small farmers, who form the backbone of agricultural economy. The big land owners should explore new avenues of investment like agricultural research and innovations in aquaculture, livestock, low delta horticulture, water conservation and its efficient use coupled with their value addition. This would help in poverty eradication and job creation in this sector as well as provision of food security for the country. The government will provide them all possible help and incentives in their endeavors. The dream of Food Security will remain elusive, unless we take advantage of recent scientific breakthroughs in the field of agriculture..