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Ensuring food security in Pakistan is the highest priority area of PARC: Dr. Muhammad Azeem Khan, Chairman PARC

Islamabad (26th January 2020) ......… A policy dialogue on National Agriculture and Food Security in Pakistan was organized by Pakistan Agricultural Scientists Forum in a local Hotel at Islamabad under the objectives that Food systems are facing challenges whether it be research or policy issues or environmental and climate challenges. Dr. Muhammad Azeem Khan, Chairman, PARC, Dr. Anwar Hussain Gillani, Vice Chancellor, University of Haripure Hazara, Prof. Dr. Amanullah Malik, CPEC and Mr. Khalid Rehman, Executive Director, IPS were the main speakers of the event.

Addressing to the participants of policy dialogues, Dr. Muhammad Azeem Khan, Chairman, PARC said that it is very encouraging to know that PARC was instrumental in developing the 1st ever Food Security Policy and it is also satisfying that same policy is now under implementation. Pakistan facing massive challenges like degradation and depletion of natural resources, climate change impacts, hunger & poverty. To address these sectors, there is a need of proper attention at all level for improvement in productivity. The Chairman, also added that to uplift agriculture sector is one of the highest priority areas of PARC for ensuring food security in the country whereas Govt. of Pakistan under Prime Minister’s Agriculture Emergency initiatives has also significantly increased agriculture sector investment through encouraging use of modern technologies, restoring the livestock sector, launching poverty alleviation programs and development of water resources.

Dr. Muhammad Azeem Khan also expressed that PARC being as an apex organization playing a significant role in achieving food security goals in the Country. The Chairman further added at CPEC will significantly help in ensuring wide range of development, especially targeting socio-economic development of less-developed areas of the country.  Agricultural productivity, rural prosperity and farmer’s livelihood can be improved giving priority to this sector. Agricultural development is one of the seven areas of cooperation under CPEC, China is specifically interested to explore areas like cotton productivity, efficient irrigation and post-harvest infrastructure and ill managed agriculture sector. This will help achieving the targets of  agriculture sector and ensuring the food security in Pakistan. Chairman PARC also shared Seed Company being developed by PARC and Kitchen Gardening with the participants of the event.

On the occasion, Dr. Muhammad Azeem Khan was also of the view that Pakistan is committed to achieve food security and alleviate poverty in line with the Sustainable Development Goals. Appropriate strategies need to be devised to improve food security to offset the adverse impact of rural and cross border migration. Furthermore, a number of measures are being undertaken by the Government of Pakistan to address the issue of food insecurity.

(Hassan Sajjad)
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