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Govt asked to ensure food security

Islamabad:The Pakistan Economy Watch (PEW) on Tuesday asked the government to take serious step to ensure food security in country as an international food crisis can engulf world soon.
America, one of the major global exporters of food is facing worst drought since 1956 which has reduced output of wheat, corn, soyabean etc. pushing their prices to new heights, it said.

Prices of commodities have surpassed the peaks of the 2007-08 crises that sparked food riots in more than 30 countries, said Dr. Murtaza Mughal, President PEW.He said that crisis in 2007-08 was result of speculation which the current is real which calls for enhanced focus on agriculture.This is not a local problem that Americans are facing, he said, adding that the impact of the crisis would be felt across the globe.

Dr. Murtaza Mughal said that vulnerable and the poor would be hardest hit who spend as much as 60 to 75 per cent of their income on food.He said that situation at home is far from encouraging; flawed policies have left almost all the federal and provincial departments related to agriculture as dysfunctional.The system of calculating food and input requirements, projections, targets, coordination etc. has been ended with the demise of Federal Committee on Agriculture and now market forces are deciding everything.

Dr. Murtaza Mughal said this is reason behind sky rocketing prices as mechanism of timely imports does not exist anymore.Government should take steps to undo blunders done in the name of the 18th amendment. It should convene an emergency meeting of all stakeholders to discuss the implications of the crisis.The matter should not be taken lightly as during the last crisis 30 countries witnessed food riots while many governments were sent packing.

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