PR No.79 Islamabad: April 8, 2016

Federal Minister for National Food Security& Research Mr. Sikandar Hayaat Khan Bosan, addressed at 3rd annual meeting of SAARC agriculture ministers in Dhaka, on April 7. He was all praise for such a forum where the collaborative efforts would be rendered to find out sustainable solutions for various issues regarding agriculture sector. He said these issues are not insurmountable provided the relevant stakeholders come along on a forum with discreet ideas. The challenges faced by the region in the agriculture sector include shift to modern farming and letting go of traditional ways in face of modern means of farming for achieving the food security. Food security could be achieved by addressing the problems of pests, rural poverty, degraded fertile, depleted ground water along with tackling the issue of eroded biodiversity, said the minister. He said in order to banish the rural poverty we need to revisit our priorities which could be done with major chunk of investment in field of research and technologies to benefit the small land holders: we must emulate the Bangladesh example for achieving a significant success in food security which was acknowledged by the World Bank.

The Federal Minister further said by boosting the agriculture we could fight the poverty by facilitating the farmers and subsequent success in achieving lower food prices and hence a move to fight the challenge of food in security and hunger . He urged the regional ministers to come forward and jointly tackle this issue by sharing the food production technologies and by achieving self-reliance in food.

The Minister enlightened the participants about the steps taken by the government including “Kisan Relief Package” worth 341 billion rupees, “Youth Skill Development” schemes and vision 2025. All these incentives by the government of Pakistan are formed with a vision of creating a strong society by putting the people first and empowering the agriculture sector. He further told the audience that government of Pakistan has proudly approved the establishment of National Food Safety Regulatory Authority. He expressed his desire about sharing the experiences among the SAARC ministers in addressing the challenges of regional food security.