LAHORE: The Pakistan Business Forum (PBF) has called on provincial governments to prohibit housing developments on agricultural land to protect the country’s food security.
Jahanara Wattoo, the Vice President of PBF, addressed the press on Monday, stating that 20% to 30% of fertile agricultural land in Punjab had been transformed into residential colonies and industrial estates in the last two decades, endangering the nation’s food security.
In Lahore, the capital of Punjab, housing societies and industrial units had taken over 70% of farmland, she added.
Wattoo urged Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif to immediately hold a farmers’ conference to gather their recommendations for agricultural development and the implementation of a farming policy.
To safeguard agricultural land from increasing construction activities, provincial governments must adhere to the National Climate Change Policy and promote vertical growth in urban areas, she emphasized.
Wattoo also urged provincial governments to enact laws mandating permission from the provincial cabinets to convert green land to brown land for residential purposes.
She stated that protecting the country’s food security is paramount, and PBF believes that these measures can help preserve agricultural land and prevent its exploitation for residential and industrial development.