10.9 M Indigenous Plants To Be Installed In South Punjab

By Staff Reporter | UrduPoint Oct 16, 2022

ISLAMABAD, (UrduPoint / Pakistan Point News - 15th Oct, 2022 ) :Prime Minister Muhammad Shehbaz Sharif has urged the international development partners and the global community to stand by Pakistan in its efforts to deal with the post-flood reconstruction, particularly in terms of tackling the food challenges.

"The situation is no doubt very challenging. However, Pakistan is fully committed to achieving the United Nations' Sustainable Development Goals aimed at ending poverty, improving health and education, and spurring economic growth," the prime minister said in a message on World Food day being observed on October 16.

The prime minister said they commemorated 'World Food Day' at a critical moment when Pakistan was embarking on a road to recovery in the aftermath of climate change induced devastating floods.

"On this day, let us pledge to work together to play our role individually and collectively to make the communities, societies and the world at large food secure. Let us also vow to join forces to overcome the hazards posed by climate change to food security," PM Office Media Wing in a press release quoted the prime minister as saying.

He said the day was being observed to create awareness about global hunger, malnutrition and the need for collective actions to ensure food and nutritional security for all.

"This year's theme "Leave no one behind" reminds us to collectively struggle to end poverty and hunger; and realize that the food we choose and the way we consume it, affects our health and that of our planet," he added.

The prime minister further informed that in order to get through these difficult times, and to provide relief to the farming community and boost the agricultural economy, the government was going to arrange a Kissan Conference soon where he would announce a package for the uplift of the agriculture sector.

Pakistan was blessed with a rich natural resource base for agriculture, he said, adding that they were proud of the ancient Indus valley civilization, which was based on agriculture.

However, due to many factors, including climate change, natural resource degradation, increasing input prices, lack of farm machinery and fluctuating markets, the conditions for agricultural production in Pakistan were quite challenging, he added.


The prime minister said: "Unfortunately, crop losses in Pakistan due to extreme weather conditions are becoming a common phenomenon. Therefore, mitigating climate change, minimizing crop losses, improving yields and enhancing livelihoods are our great challenges." He said the devastating floods during this year's monsoon had played havoc with Pakistan affecting over 33 million people, resulting in the loss of livestock, standing crops and essential infrastructure.

Sindh province, which produced around one third of the country's food supply, has been the hardest hit by the rains, which damaged around 50 percent of the province's total crops, he added.

The prime minister said the flood waters also threatened to delay the wheat sowing season this fall, raising the possibility of continued food shortfalls and price spikes through next year.

"It is an alarming prospect in a country that depends on its wheat production to feed itself at a time when global wheat supplies are precarious. This situation has added to our challenges of food security in Pakistan," he added.

The damage to Pakistan's agricultural sector, the prime minister said, would also be felt across the globe as Pakistan was one of the world's top producers and exporters of cotton and rice, which had been destroyed by the flood.

As much as half of the country's cotton crop had been destroyed, which was a blow to global cotton production in a year when cotton prices had soared as other major producers from the United States to China had also been hit with extreme weather, he observed.

The prime minister stressed that there was dire need for enhancing collaboration with international development partners particularly in the areas of farm mechanization, food processing, livestock breeds improvement and high value horticulture crops.

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