As renowned American food writer James Beard said, "Food is
our common ground, a universal experience. Food sustains and nourishes
us and it also increasingly connects us to a global food web that is
intertwined with politics, economics, environmental concerns, culture
Looking at the future it concerns leaders from all aspects of the
food supply chain, who grapple with issues having long-standing effect
on the industry. Our goal is to supply adequate food to a growing global
population, deal with declining resources and keep revenues healthy.
However, the question is: how can we produce actionable solutions to
feed the growing population of tomorrow in a way that everyone can feel
good about it?
The future of food industry will take shape in a world where climate
is changing, biodiversity is deteriorating, contagious diseases are
spreading more extensively and worldwide food sourcing is raising
security and sustainability concerns. Recent migration drifts will
generate new burdens as the rural-to-urban movement continues, which has
been the main reason for the increase in concentration of population in
small and big cities.
Pakistan is a developing country and agriculture is its most
important sector mainly due to its primary commitment of providing
healthy food to a fast-growing population. With the current rate of
population growth, the number of people is expected to double by 2050.
With the rising population, the food demand of the country will
naturally increase in the wake of improving consumption patterns and
To meet the food requirements, the major focus of planners is on
coming up with ideas to diversify agricultural production. Thus, the
production system needs to be channelised towards higher production of
fruits, vegetables and other high-value agricultural commodities.
Therefore, improving market infrastructure, arranging safety net
programmes, provision of better education and health facilities could be
the central elements of any strategy to reduce chronic food insecurity
in both rural and urban areas.
The cultivated area has increased 40% in the past 60 years but on the
other hand population has swelled four times, which is putting extra
pressure on cultivated land.
Genetically modified crops
The extraordinary rise in prices of food poses another problem to
food security. Pakistan should try to adopt new agricultural
technologies in terms of genetic modification of crops that improves
water productivity and brings breakthrough in the use of saline water
such as GM crops which could contribute to the rise in food production
and higher food availability. Doing this may also have an impact on food
quality and nutrient composition.
Finally, GM crops will improve farmers’ income and their access to
food. This technology has reduced food insecurity by 15–20% among
Moreover, farm households should be able to finance expensive inputs
and diversify their livelihoods through an optimum mix of farm and
Unproductivity of agricultural activity has many causes – key
concerns include distributional inefficiency, occupancy of land, water
scarcity and low investment in production and technology.
Farm productivity should be improved by adopting practices such as
tillage conservation, soil fertility management, soil and water
conservation, water harvesting, integrated pest management, etc.
Pakistan also sometimes faces severe floods. As a result, shortage of
food grains occurs. To tackle these shortages, the government should
make policies for support prices, storage and distribution. There should
be a systematic commodity forecast mechanism so that food demand-supply
mechanism could be more effectively managed. Moreover, a food security
fund should be created.
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The opinions expressed in this article are the author's own and do not necessarily reflect the viewpoint or stance of SDPI.