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Rasheed Khalid

The News

Published Date: Jul 16, 2011

23.6% population of capital food insecure

The lowest
percentage of food insecure population (23.6%) is in the federal capital, said
SDPI Executive Director Dr. Abid Qaiyum Suleri while quoting the report of the
institute.
He was addressing a brainstorming session with selected parliamentarians to
discus ‘Relationship between Food Insecurity and Poverty, Extremism &
Conflict’ jointly organised by the SDPI and United States Institute for Peace.
He said that inter and intra-provincial disparities exist in terms of food
security, adding that FATA has the highest percentage of food insecure
population (67.7%), followed by Balochistan (61.2%) and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa
(56.2%). One type of insecurity breeds another type of insecurity and that is
why most of the food insecure districts in Pakistan are also marred by
disasters and various forms of militancy and violence, he added.
He said that we are facing policy-led insecurities in Pakistan. Food insecurity
could be individual, national, regional and global and all these types are
inter-linked hence requiring individual level steps to prevent it from reaching
higher levels.
Policy-led vulnerabilities reduce our resilience and we need to invest in
individual security to build individual resilience, a must for all levels of
securities, he added.
Senate Deputy Chairman Mir Jan Muhammad Jamali opposed ban on inter-provincial
movement of wheat as unconstitutional and demanded its immediate lifting to
gratify the needs of people starving in far-lung corners of the country. Future
of the world is connected to water, food and energy security and if this is not
ensured, we must prepare for dangerous repercussion, he warned.
He said that Iran is sustaining food supplies of Balochistan for a long time,
especially in the Makran region. He stressed on the need for improving food
insecurity in Balochistan and asked to devise policies to support livestock in
Balochistan and Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa where large chunk of population is directly
depended on livestock for their food intake, livelihood and ultimate survival.
Former deputy speaker of the National Assembly Wazir Ahmad Jogezai said that
Pakistan is facing a governance crisis rather than food crisis. He was of the
view that clear vision, efficient policies and better management at government
level can address the everlasting food scarcity in Balochistan.
He said that there is lack of capacity in terms of food storage, thus creating
a constant uncertainty regarding availability of wheat stock.
He said that food insecurity encapsulates the whole life of an individual,
influencing his behaviour and imprinting good or bad effects, which determine
course of his life.
He said that uncertainty of food results in all kinds of social evils.

Former
federal minister for food and agriculture Nazar Muhammad Gondal said that
earlier there was diversity of food consumption with heterogeneous intake in
different provinces, i.e., rice was used as a staple food in Sindh, corn in KPK
and barley in Balochistan. But with heavy subsidisation of wheat, it has become
the staple food throughout the country.

PPP MNA and
National Commission for Human Development Chairperson Nafisa Shah proposed
developing integrated policies involving food, education, health and individual
security to build resilient people with reduced vulnerabilities against social
evils and all kinds of insecurities.