Govt cautioned: ‘50% of population faces food insecurity’

Traders’ body says peace cannot be achieved without food security. PHOTO: FILE

Traders’ body says peace cannot be achieved without food security. PHOTO: FILE

ISLAMABAD: Small traders of the capital city have asked the government to improve food security without which peace, stability and progress cannot be achieved in the country.

“The country must improve its deteriorating ranking in the food security index as almost half of its population remains food insecure,” a statement quoted Shahid Rasheed Butt, Patron of the Islamabad Chamber of Small Traders, as saying on Friday.

“Every individual has the right to gain access to sufficient, safe and nutritious food on a consistent basis that meets all dietary needs.”

He suggested that the affordability, availability and quality of food in Pakistan should be reviewed seriously as hunger was spreading despite a gradual improvement in the agricultural output, which indicated a lack of serious effort on the part of the government.

Butt cautioned that a starving person could go to any extent and it was a reason behind rising incidences of terrorism in the country.

It is amazing that countries like India, Sri Lanka, Angola, Bangladesh, Ethiopia, Malawi, Nicaragua, Niger and Vietnam have performed better than Pakistan over the years and authorities are not taking serious steps to address the challenge.

He asked the government to provide food to millions of food-insecure people as rising food prices, floods, poverty, conflicts, terrorism, energy crisis, economic slowdown and political instability were some of the factors behind hunger.

“A bumper wheat crop does not guarantee that the country’s poor would have better access to the staple food,” he noted.

Butt pointed out that hunger in Pakistan could also be attributed to a lack of innovative strategy, lack of interest of policymakers in the agriculture sector and failure to push banks to provide more agricultural loans.

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