Call to use technology to achieve food security


ISLAMABAD:

Speakers said a sustainable food system is at the heart of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) which call for major transformations in agriculture and food systems to end hunger, achieve food security and improve nutrition by 2030. SDGs, the global food system must be reshaped to ensure the inclusiveness of low-income and marginalized populations to provide healthy and nutritious food for all.

They said that maintaining compatibility between agricultural growth and population growth still remains a major challenge for states and that any downward imbalance can lead to food shortages and, consequently, famines. Therefore, the growth of the production of edible items remains a focal point in the policies of each government to explore new ways to improve productivity and value addition to agricultural production through research and new cultivation mechanisms. .

Technological advances coupled with financial and policy interventions have started to show results in Pakistan with an improvement in the area of ​​under-cultivated land as well as an increase in crop yield per acre. The country’s agricultural sector recorded a remarkable growth of 4.40% in the last fiscal year, surpassing the set growth target of 3.5% and last year’s growth of 3.48%.

This growth was mainly driven by high yields, attractive production prices and appropriate government policies, in addition to the availability of certified seeds, pesticides and access to agricultural credit. The crops sector recorded a growth of 6.58% against 5.96% the previous year.

“After many years of decline, cotton production increased by 17.9% and its price remained stable in the local market after the introduction of the minimum intervention price level,” said the Cotton Commissioner, Dr Khalid Abdullah. “Due to the cotton intervention price, its local production increased by two million bales despite a 9% decrease in cotton area compared to last year,” he added.

“Other factors in increasing cotton production were grower investment in crop management, application of adequate fertilizers and pesticides,” he said. “We will also organize training programs to maintain this momentum.”

He mentioned the provision of quality and high yielding seeds to improve the production per acre of different crops as four triple gene cotton truths and seven double gene varieties were also approved by provincial seed councils for cultivation. business in the country.

Published in The Express Tribune, August 22n/a2022.

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