Food security problem escalating

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ISLAMABAD:    The Pakistan Economy Watch (PEW) on Thursday said the issue of food security is intensifying in Pakistan which should be handled properly at the earliest.

The price of food items is increasing continuously which requires policy and administrative action by the government, it said.

Coronavirus has dented efforts to reduce poverty while the food mafia banked on the opportunity to maximise profits on the cost of masses, said Chairman Pakistan Economy Watch Brig. (retd) Aslam Khan.

He said that the vision of Prime Minister Imran Khan regarding agricultural development is laudable and it should be implemented without any delay.

Aslam Khan said that the agriculture sector needs government and private investment, loans, ample water, quality seed, pesticides and urea to improve the situation.

Before the coronavirus pandemic, food security had posed a serious threat to our national security but the threat has become even more noticeable since the pandemic which has the potential to aggravate poverty, he observed.

He said that the government should invest heavily to make agricultural infrastructure sustainable, remove trade distortions, improve crop production, storage and transportation.

Issues like the degradation of agricultural lands and forests, loss of biodiversity and pollution in rivers as well as canal system should also be tackled without delay, he demanded.