Federal Minister of National Food Security and Research Syed Fakhar Imam has stated that the Government of Pakistan is committed to achieving the United Nations (UN) Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), particularly the zero hunger goal, by establishing robust partnerships and coalitions.
Addressing the UN States Food Systems Pre-Summit 2021 on Friday, the Minister said Pakistan considered the UN Food Systems Summit 2021 as an opportunity to review its progress on the SDGs, especially with regard to meeting the challenges lying in achieving the zero hunger goal.
“Prime Minister Imran Khan and his team are committed to achieving zero hunger and other SDGs,” he stated. He informed the Pre-Summit meet that Pakistan had prepared Working Papers on all five Action Tracks through an all-inclusive consultative process and had also chalked out action plans to implement the proposed “Game-changing Solutions”.
Fakhar Imam highlighted that Pakistan was facing food and nutritional insecurity challenges for its population of over 215 million, annually costing the country US $ 7.6 billion or three percent of its GDP. The agriculture sector’s share in the national GDP, he said, was 19.2 percent and it played a lifeline of the national economy in various terms.
He underscored that Pakistan was blessed with a diversified climate, making 10 highly diversified agro-ecologies available. He said, “Pakistan has 23 million hectares of cultivable land, 1000 kilometers of coastal line with three big dams and more than 100 small dams. All this signifies that a system-based approach is more appropriate for us.”
He reaffirmed that Pakistan intended to enhance diversified food production in all agro-ecologies, minimizing post-harvest losses and promoting kitchen gardening as well as value chains. He said Pakistan also wanted to promote organic farming, cultivation of green manure crops, use of resource conservation technologies, and building the capacity of all stakeholders and Small and Medium Enterprises. He added that the country focused on building resilience by devising innovative site-specific technologies. “The underlying intention was to shift our consumers from staple cereal dominated diets to sustainable, diversified, and healthy consumption patterns,” he stressed.
The Minister informed the Pre-Summit participants that the Government of Pakistan had set up Agriculture Innovation Fund. He appreciated the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, Global Alliance for Improved Nutrition, International Fund for Agricultural Development, and World Food Program for their support to Pakistan. He also underlined the efforts of the Pakistan Agriculture Research Council.