THIS is with reference to the report ‘Food exports surge 35pc in February’ (March 17), according to which, raw food worth $702.46 million was exported, forcing the local consumers to pay higher prices. This is tantamount to snatching morsel from the mouth of the poor, who can barely manage a meal a day in times of unprecedented hyperinflation persisting for the last over five years.

The worst part of this cruelty is that the rate of food being exported has been increasing. This has resulted in 20.2 per cent food inflation in February, creating a scenario for the common man where he finds it impossible to survive and arrange a single meal a day for his family.

Had it not been for the philanthropists, who organise free meals and truckloads of food assistance, there would have been famine-related deaths in the country. Although Pakistan is still considered an agricultural country, lately it has become a net food importer.

Export for earning forex is essential, but only surplus should be exported. With Pakistan becoming an importer of basic food items, it is ludicrous to see the government allowing export of raw food products in such a reckless manner.

Asif Jah
Karachi

Published in Dawn, April 15th, 2024

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