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ISLAMABAD: The Food and Agriculture Organisa­tion (FAO) of the United Nations would prepare a report on the state of food security and nutrition in Pakistan, the UN agency announced on Tuesday.

This would be the first national level report to be prepared along the lines of the annual report on global and regional situation prepared by the FAO.

The Swiss Agency for Develop­ment and Cooperation (SDC) has joined the FAO in developing the report. For this purpose, an agreement was signed here on Tuesday.

The report will provide timely and accurate data to the government to enable it to make informed and evidence-based decisions by monitoring food supply, demand and other key indicators for assessing the overall food security situation.

Thanking the SDC for its support, FAO representative in Pakistan Mina Dowlatchahi said the strategic partnership between FAO and SDC would strengthen national capacities for managing and utilising food security-related information.

She said that the national SOFI report was in line with the government of Pakistan’s development agenda and it would support decision and policy makers in their efforts to reduce poverty and improve food security and nutrition in Pakistan.

Speaking on the occasion, Head of Cooperation of SDC Daniel Valenghi highlighted the importance of implementation of effective policies to improve food security in Pakistan.

The agriculture sector contributes 19.8 per cent of Pakistan’s GDP and employs 42 per cent of the workforce. However, the country’s growing population and adverse climatic conditions have placed an increasing pressure on national food production in the country.

Published in Dawn, March 13th, 2019