HYDERABAD: Food experts and researchers have called for legislation to ensure food security through allocation of adequate

funds for research on crops, and stop establishment of human settlements on fertile agricultural land.

They were speaking at the third international conference on agriculture, food and animal sciences at Sindh Agriculture University (SAU) Tandojam that concluded on Wednesday.

They pointed out in their presentations that food resources faced threats from acute water shortage and deteriorating soil fertility caused by changing weather patterns.

SAU Vice Chancellor Dr Mujeebuddin Memon Sehrai said the recommendations of the conference would be submitted to the Sindh chief minister and hoped the authorities concerned would take initiative in this regard.

The researchers made presentations on dairy products, poultry, seafood, agriculture, vegetables and fruits and recommended improvement in cropping system to obtain high-yield crops to feed growing population.

They opposed conversion of fertile agricultural land into human settlements and said that it should be checked through legislation.

They said that a high-level committee of researchers, academicians and government functionaries should be formed to frame food policy and stressed the need for conservation and restoration of local animal breeds and indigenous seeds.

They said that public and private sectors should join hands to protect and produce indigenous animal breeds.

Prof Dr Ven Huang from China in her presentation on food security talked about lotus production and shared findings of research on food security status in China.

She said that her country was facing food security issue and showed photographs of research laboratories, equipped with facilities, agriculture projects and products, mainly manufacturing milk powder for infants to keep them safe.

Dr Javed Aziz Awan, country director of Islamic Food and Nutrition Council spoke on ‘concept of food and nutrition in Islam’ and said that traditionally grown food products through plantation, seed sowing, fruit and vegetable cultivation were lawful and health-friendly, which were better in taste and nourishing for body.

Prof Dr Kurt Pfannkuche of University of Cologne, Germany, Dr Parshotam Khatri of SAU livestock department, and others chaired technical sessions on agriculture, food, animal and social sciences at the conference.

Published in Dawn, January 12th, 2017