Food security, a new age’ challenge

Recently, several renowned academia, research institutes, and industrial giants organized a symposium on food security at the Agriculture University of Punjab. The eminent scientists emphasized design policies, indigenous farming solutions, and better management of the most important resources of soil and water to address the climate change crisis.

Pakistan is an agricultural country, however, over the decades it has become a food deficient nation due to natural phenomenons and the myopic policies of the ruling elite in the past. The per capita water availability in the Country has dropped from 5300 in 1947 to 1,017 cubic meters in the modern era, which not only prompted water disasters in the coming years but also turned the cultivated land into a desert, reduced the crop yield, and increased the scopes of food insecurity in the country.

The looming threat of global warming has cautioned the world about water conservation, tree plantation, the use of renewable energy, and preservation of nature which will have a positive impact on food security in the future. Besides, modern methods of farming, irrigation, and, the use of modern machinery along with soil diversification, research, and development in the field of agriculture are highly essential for increasing crop production in the contemporary world. The close and uninterrupted working relationship between academia, research institute, and the agricultural industry can play a vital role in developing new technologies, that could lead to the enhancement of the production of crops in different areas.

According to experts, climate change has put the worst effects on the agriculture sector during the past years by increasing droughts, flash floods, the influx of pests, locust attacks, and the emergence of multiple diseases coupled with severe heatwaves, which badly affected the crops and crops production had reduced by 25% to 30% in the past two years. Presently, Pakistan has been ranked 77/113 on the Global Food Security Index for food affordability while 74/113 for food quality which is 40.5% below average and clearly illustrates the grave condition of food security and food quality in the country. Hence, it is the duty of the government to support academia in modern research and encourage the private sector to invest in agriculture to ensure food security in the days ahead.