ISLAMABAD, PAKISTAN: High-level decision makers and experts discussed the need for modernization and improved efficiency of Pakistan’s agricultural sector at a conference at the Margala Hotel, Islamabad on 6th October 2021. The conference was organized by the think-tank Center for Global & Strategic Studies (CGSS) and the Hanns Seidel Foundation (HSF) Pakistan in collaboration with the MNS University of Agriculture, Multan on the topic of “Food Security vis-à-vis Sustainable Agriculture in Pakistan: Policy Outcomes and Prospects”.
The Chief Guest of the event, His Excellency Syed Fakhar Imam, Federal Minister for National Food Security and Research, highlighted the role of agriculture in Pakistan’s economy:
Pakistan is a country blessed with the agro-economic zones. We have one of the most extensive irrigation system in the world. Around 38% of our population is employed in the agro-economic sector, which increases the significance of this sector. […] We need to upgrade the agriculture sector through the use of modern technology. We can apply different methodologies on smaller areas and that can be replicated on larger scale upon success to multiply its benefits for the public.
His Excellency Syed Hussain Jahania Gardezi, Provincial Minister of Punjab for Agriculture, stressed the significance of modernization of the agriculture sector in accordance with the global standards to increase productivity:
Under the 2030 SDGS implementation agenda, Pakistan plans to achieve food security for its population by 2030 by adopting modern agriculture and food production methods. We need to focus on research in agriculture especially biotechnology in order to improve the yield and achieve self-sufficiency in food.
Dr. Steffen Kudella, the Resident Representative of HSF Pakistan, spoke about the need of cross-sectoral linkages between academia and policymakers to ensure food security:
Food Security is a serious non-traditional security challenge globally and for Pakistan. […] This Conference intends to connect relevant stakeholders from the farmer in the field to the highest level of policymakers. We want to provide constructive suggestions to policy makers that are based on research and evidence.
The food security event was a follow-up to a round table discussion on the same topic organized in Multan in July 2021 and aimed to highlight the issues of food security and agricultural productivity in Pakistan. Experts from academic and multiple relevant fields presented their research-based views and policy recommendations.
It included presentations from experts on different topics ranging from the importance of food security and agriculture for the 2030 Sustainable Development Agenda, supply chain management and role of technology to the gendered perspective and impact of food insecurity on adolescents. More than 70 participants including high-level government officials, academic experts and civil society members, international development professionals and policy makers from relevant fields attended the event.
The findings from the conference will be compiled and published in an edited volume by HSF Pakistan and CGSS. The publication will serve as a policy blueprint to achieve sustainable food security in Pakistan and will be presented to government departments and lawmakers concerned with the issue.
You may find event photos and more speaker quotes at twitter.com/HSF_Pakistan. For more information on CGSS please visit cgss.com.pk, and on HSF Pakistan pakistan.hss.de. Press contact: islamabad(at)hss.de.