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PR No.84
Islamabad: September 09, 2021

Federal Minister of National Food Security and Research Syed Fakhar Imam addressed the 4th General Assembly meeting of the Islamic Organization of Food Security (IOFS) on "Food Systems of the OIC in post-pandemic world", held virtually at (Nur-Sultan, Kazakhstan), September, 2021. The meeting was attended by the 36 member states of Islamic Organization for Food Security, 20 other OIC member states and 5 OIC observer countries. Federal Minister for National Food and Security Syed Fakhar Imam said that this forum is aimed to serve as platform for OIC member countries to share best practices in the areas of food systems governance, promotion of agricultural development, and to assist governments in developing pathways for sustainable food systems in the OIC region. He said that the 54 countries of the OIC represent 24% of the global population and 15% of global GDP on Purchasing Power Parity terms. Fakhar said that Pakistan faces many challenges in building sustainable food systems such as water scarcity, lack of quality seed, cold storage facilities, farm mechanization, trained manpower, post-harvest management, processing industries, and digital agriculture platforms etc. Minister said to tackle COVID-19, the Government of Pakistan has constituted a high-level National Coordination Committee (NCC) that evaluates the evolving situation on day-to-day basis. A Command-and-Control Centre has also been established to ensure effective coordination among the federal and provincial governments. Fakhar Imam said that, “In order to uplift the agriculture sector and build efficient food system, our government has launched Agriculture Emergency Program. This initiative is aimed to enhance the productivity of wheat, rice, sugarcane, pulses, and oilseed crops; besides development of livestock and water sectors. Under this program, government is supporting farmers by furnishing quality seed of improved varieties, providing farm machinery at subsidized rates, and disseminating improved production packages. This initiative is improving the socio-economic status of our farmers; and leading the country towards sustainable development of agriculture sector through technological innovation. Furthermore, our government is also extending Kissan (Farmer) Cards to farmers, especially the small ones, which is an important milestone in modernizing the agriculture sector. Through this card, farmers will get benefits of various government programs, such as subsidies on fertilizers, seeds and pesticides. Loans would also be provided to farmers through this card. Federal Minister said that due to the excellent agricultural policies of the government; despite COVID pandemic, the production of wheat, rice, maize, sugarcane, potato, onion and groundnut has increased to a record level. This year has been remarkable for agriculture sector of Pakistan, and our economy got a boost with the record agricultural production, indicating a lesser reliance on food imports in 2021-22. Additionally, due to our favorable policies and interventions, the exports of agro-commodities have also increased significantly, including mango by 28.6%, citrus 31.25% and potatoes 28%. Syed Fakhar Imam stressed that this platform provides us the opportunities to share the scientific information and expertise, essential to eradicate poverty and ensure food security. He hoped that the policies and programs designed and implemented by this forum will ensure food security and bring peace and prosperity in OIC member states.

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