Lahore: It is need of the hour to take concrete steps to control quality and shortage of food due to increasing population o f Pakistan. Awareness programmes will have to be launched to update the farmers, cultivators, industrialists and traders in urban as well as rural areas in this regard. Nutritious food is the right of every Pakistani. A strategy would have to be evolved to tackle the problems. Monopoly in the markets will have to be eliminated by promoting public-private partnership and direct access of farmers to the markets.
These views were expressed by former Finance Minister Salman Shah at a local hotel while addressing a Provincial Consultative Workshop on National Food and Nutrition Security Policy here today. He said that establishment of agricultural universities, creation of awareness in urban and rural areas and public-private partnership is very important to cope with the challenges being faced by the country. He said that quality of food, stability of prices and right use of resources will have to be ensured. On this occasion, Federal Secretary on National Food Security & Research, Ahmed Bukhsh Lehri said that a comprehensive policy is being evolved first time in the history of the country in connection with paucity of food, its provision to the poor masses and right use of resources. All stakeholders from federal as well as provincial level are being invited in these consultative workshops, he added. He said that federal government has introduced ‘zero hunger’ programme besides others for the provision of food.
On this occasion, Secretary Livestock Irfan Elahi said that Pakistan is rich in natural resources and environment is congenial for cultivation of all crops. He said that there is shortage of food in 45 districts despite abundant availability of wheat. He said that we will have to evolve a comprehensive policy for the supervision of administrative affairs, provision of food on appropriate prices and elimination of monopoly over markets. Dr. Hamid Jalil said that Pakistan has to play its role for keeping a vigilant eye on the world with regard to provision of food in future.
Additional Secretary National Food Security and Research Abdul Basit, Chairman Four Brothers, Chairman Planning & Development and other experts also addressed on the occasion. The workshop was arranged with the cooperation of Ministry of Food, Security and Research, Industries, Commerce and Investment Departments Punjab and Four Brothers Group, Seed Organization Pakistan and Conzoseed. Experts of agriculture, livestock, farming, business community and researchers attended the workshop.