Published Date: Feb 4, 2014
SDPI Press Release (February 4, 2014)
The Sustainable Development Policy Institute (SDPI) Islamabad organized a consultative meeting on ‘Agriculture & Food Security Policy’. The purpose of the meeting was to discuss a policy draft launched by Ministry of Food Security & Research of Pakistan (MNFSR) in collaboration with PARC, NARC and FAO.
Participants of the consultation discussed the paradoxical debate on the current draft of policy, which has a small component of highlighting food security condition in Pakistan. However, the question regarding how to combat against this food security issues is a missing link.
The discussion included members from academia, research community, human rights activists and development practitioners. Dr. Sohail Jahangir Malik, Executive Director, Innovative Development Strategy were chairing the meeting.
During discussion, Dr. Malik, provided an excellent starting point by highlighting the missing aspects of document. According to him, this document is not scientifically centered; however, it lacks the analytical framework and strategic prioritization. Dr. Malik urged the government of Pakistan to review the entire policy framework to integrate different aspects of food security. He said that there was a need to bridge the gap between policies and their implementation. The non-accessibility of funds and resources to poor should also be integrated in the document.
Dr. Abid Qayyium Suleri, Executive Director, SDPI appreciated the efforts of federal government to draft this policy document. However, he disclosed some missing links of the document i.e. less focus on enhancing production, sustainable irrigation, water availability and its efficient use. Moreover, unfortunately, no concrete governance measure has been suggested. Further, he also extended SDPI’s support to Ministry of Food Security & Research in terms of capacity building, research, technical support and recommendations.
Dr. Azmat Hayat from Pakistan Meteorological Department demanded education and financial assistance for farmer’s community. According to him, adaptation & mitigation policies should also be focused.
Dr. Abdul Salam, Agricultural Prices Commission demanded for the devolution of Ministry of Food Security and also enhancing the capacity of provinces to resolve this issue.
The meeting identified major problem areas of food access & utilization and to a larger extend of food sustainability, which are not addressed in the current draft. Without this, one cannot cover aspect of food security.
High official of UNICEF, World Food Program, FAO, Punjab Agriculture Information Department, UAE Embassy, Denmark Embassy, SCOPE, CGIAR were also present on this occasion.