Associated Press Of Pakistan
ISLAMABAD, Jun 04 —Federal Minister for National Food Security and Research Syed Fakhar Imam Friday reiterated the government’s commitment for ensuring food security and safety in the country.
Talking to Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) Country Director Rebekah Bell, who called on him, the minister said that nutrition was a basic right of every human being and therefore the Ministry of National Food Security holds a very important place in the development of Pakistan, adding that country was producing surplus of wheat, maize, mangoes, citrus and livestock.
The minister said that Pakistan has potential in cotton, soybean, floriculture and organic farming and government was paying special attention on these crops for achieving sustainable economic growth.
The livestock contributes about 61 percent of local GD, therefore sufficient vaccine for the Foot and Mouth Disease is necessary for the agriculture secor’s imporvement.
Fakhar Imam showed keen interest in the revival of the cotton sector in the country, adding that the cotton crop was providing fodder, edible oil raw material and women employment.
Fakhar Imam said that Pakistan needed improvement in crops quality than emphasising the quantity, adding that special attention were being paid on the production of pulses and edible oil.
The minister said that 70% of the wheat germplasm comes from CIMMYT but there is no assurance of if it is the highest quality of germplasm available and that Pakistan deserves the best quality of germplasm that is available in the world.
The FAO Country Director said that legislative and policy changes are needed for the agricultur sector to flourish such as incentives to farmers, microcredit etc.
The FAO is providing technical support to Pakistan Bureau of Statistics to carry out an integrated census on agriculture for better planning.
It was also discussed that the major requirements for the seed sector are in place. The seed act has also included biotechnology and variety testing.
Both sides pointed out that Pakistan needs to get rid of old varients of seeds and needed to cultivate new varitie, besides putting modern forecasting tools and production technology.