ISLAMABAD: The government is formulating a pilot project of the National Zero Hunger and Family Farming Programme, which will be implemented in the most food-insecure areas.
A specially established National Zero Hunger Cell in the Ministry of National Food Security and Research has been tasked with preparing the pilot project before launching the National Zero Hunger Programme.
Official sources said that in order to initiate the process of preparation of the pilot programme, a national mapping exercise was jointly undertaken by the World Food Programme, Food and Agriculture Organisation and the
ministry to gain better understanding of ongoing programmes relating to school feeding, nutrition support, income generation and family farming support.
The sources said that during the mapping exercise it was agreed that the provinces would be consulted before the finalisation of the programme.
The programme will be implemented in the most food-insecure areas in each of the provinces in coordination with the provincial governments.
The pilot project will help analyse effects of the proposed intervention in each province and to incorporate lessons and experiences gathered into a more comprehensive programme.
Answering a question regarding levels of hunger and malnutrition in the country, the sources said the last National Nutrition Survey was conducted by the Aga Khan University’s Division of Women and Child Health, the health ministry and the United Nations Children’s Fund (Unicef).
The Ministry of National Health Services is also planning to conduct a National Nutrition Survey in 2017-18 by which the latest information will be available.
During the past three years, food items like wheat, rice, maize, potatoes, onion, mango, citrus, palm dates, milk and meat were produced in surplus in the country.
The sources said that for revitalisation of the agriculture sector, the federal government had taken steps such as the Prime Minister’s Kissan Package which gives concessions in taxes and duties to farmers with reduction in prices of fertiliser, enhancement in the target of agriculture credit and other concessions.
Published in Dawn, December 5th, 2016