Islamabad offers to make services of farm body part of D-8 move

Published January 14, 2022 - Updated January 14, 2022 09:40am
Minister for National Food Security and Research Syed Fakhr Imam addresses a virtual meeting on Thursday. — PID
Minister for National Food Security and Research Syed Fakhr Imam addresses a virtual meeting on Thursday. — PID

ISLAMABAD: Pakistan has offered to make services of its top agricultural research institution part of the initiative for sustainable agricultural development and food security taken by the D-8 organisation.

The organisation was formed in 1997 for developing cooperation among member countries of the D-8 organisation comprising Bangladesh, Egypt, Indonesia, Iran, Malaysia, Nigeria, Pakistan and Turkey.

Speaking at the ministerial meeting of the D-8 organisation titled, ‘Agriculture and Food Security: Promoting Climate Smart Agriculture’, hosted virtually by Bangladesh on Thursday, Minister for National Food Security and Research Syed Fakhr Imam urged the D-8 Secretariat to make Pakistan Agricultural Research Council (PARC), along with suitable organisations from other member countries, part of the initiative right from the planning stage.

The minister said that PARC had done some pioneer work regarding research and development of climate smart agriculture.

Climate change termed most significant challenge to achieve sustainable development goals

Mr Imam emphasised that there was a need to transform the agriculture sector to such a vibrant and resilient scale that it could withstand impact of climate change and protect the livelihoods of farmers and agro-industries.

Pakistan, he said, was ready to work with the international community to address the problem of food security in the world.

Mr Imam said the D-8 meeting had provided a platform where member countries could make commitment to eradicate poverty, end hunger, combat climate change, and address the challenge of reducing food loss and waste.

The minister said that climate change had become the most significant challenge to achieve sustainable development goals as it threatened to drag millions of people into never-ending poverty and food insecurity.

Mr Imam said that agriculture was the foundation of food security in the developing world as it not only provided essential food for human consumption and feed for livestock, but also provided raw materials for industry and value-added products for both domestic consumption and international markets.

He informed the meeting that in Pakistan, the production of wheat, rice, maize, sugarcane, potato, onion and groundnut had increased to a record level due to excellent agricultural policies adopted by the government despite the Covid-19 pandemic.

“This year has been remarkable for the agriculture sector of Pakistan as record agricultural production has taken place,” the minister said.

Due to favourable policies and interventions, exports of agro-commodities had also increased significantly, with mango export by 28.6 per cent, citrus 31.25pc and potatoes 28pc, he explained.

Agriculture and food security has been identified among areas of cooperation among member countries by the D-8 Secretariat.

Published in Dawn, January 14th, 2022

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