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Experts call for measures to avert food insecurity in Pakistan

Experts call for measures to avert food insecurity in Pakistan
Awareness rally organized by Sindh Agriculture University to mark world Food Day

17% of our agricultural produce is wasted and more than 30% of food is dumped on garbage heaps – VC Sindh Agriculture University.

Tando Jam

Agriculture experts and scientists, expressing concern that the food situation in country including Sindh is worrisome, have urged that the stakeholders from government, academia and industrial institutions will have to conduct joint research to eliminate hunger and ensure food security.

They were speaking at a seminar held to mark World Food Day at Sindh Agriculture University Tando Jam, in the collaboration with Fuji Fertilizers Company (FFC). The theme of the day was “Safe food now for a healthy tomorrow.”

Addressing the seminar, Vice Chancellor Dr. Fateh Marri said that people of the country including Sindh do not have enough food to eat and the poverty rate is high. “Most people go to bed without food,” he added.

He said that in the past, experts had predicted that the world would be devastated by hunger and starvation due to the growing population. “Steps must be taken to save the world from food wastage,” he said adding that agriculture is the only sector that can play a key role in food security and poverty alleviation.

“Even today, 17% of our agricultural produce is wasted and more than 30% of food is dumped on garbage heaps, while some people overeat and get sick,” he said.

Abdul Jaleel Jarwar, Deputy Project Manager Marketing (FFC), said, “There are fears of more food problems in the world in the future. Our country’s population is growing, and cultivable land is dwindling, so we should take advantage of new technology to do more research on maximizing production from limited land, so that food problems in the country can be solved.”

Prof. Dr. Muhammad Ismail Kumbhar, Director University Advancement and Financial Assistance said that the FAO’s State of Food Security report states that 820 million people worldwide suffer from malnutrition, while 70 percent of the world’s population lives in poor and resource-poor rural areas, which are constantly plagued by hunger.

He said various disasters, water shortages, droughts, changes in agricultural land settlements, climate change and Pollution are the causes of food shortages.

World-Food-Day-Sindh-Courier-1Dr. AIjaz Hussain Soomro, Director, Institute of Food Sciences and Technologies said that the large migration is taking place due to food insecurity and Pakistan is facing similar problems.

He said that the Pakistani people waste an estimated 40% of their food every year, which is 36 million tons. Pakistan ranks 92nd out of 116 countries in the Global Hunger Index report on food insecurity, with a score of 24.7.

Dr. Tahseen Fatima Miano said that in addition to increasing production per acre for food security, there is also a need to research alternative sources of food. “Women and children are the most vulnerable to food insecurity.”

Dean Dr. Syed Ghiasuddin Shah Rashdi, Dean Dr. Jan Mohammad Marri, Principal Dr. Mohammad Ibrahim Keerio, Principal Dr. Allah Wadhayo Gandahi, Dr. Inayatullah Rajpar, Dr. Syed Ziaul Hassan Shah and others were also present on the occasion.

World-Food-Day-SAU-Sindh-CourierAwareness rally was also held on the occasion of World Food Day, while students of the Institute of Food Sciences and Technologies organized a Posters exhibition and variety of food items’ stalls, including pickles, sauces, jams, jellies, bakeries, juices, cakes.

Vice Chancellor Dr. Fateh Marri visited the stalls and exhibition. The committee finalized the names of winners according to which students Prince Osama secured first, Suman Devi second and Lavait Kumar secured third position in food item preparation competition, while Uzma Naz got first, Shaista second and Ansiya Zahra third position in the scientific poster competition. They were awarded cash prizes and certificates. (PR)