Over 48 per cent of Pakistani people are food insecure

Discussion in 'Pakistan' started by maomao, Jun 5, 2010.

  1. maomao

    maomao Veteran Hunter of Maleecha Senior Member

    Apr 7, 2010
    Likes Received:
    Now, layers of truth about pakistan are pealing out slowly, enough of pakistani Delusional kids talking about Indian hungry, wherein India has been exporting food grains for past one decade, and Indian storage facilities don't have any place to store buffer stock. Illustraion: Rice n India for poor INR 3 and Rice in Pakistan PNR 25-40 for poor!

    Over 48 per cent of Pakistani people are food insecure

    ISLAMABAD: Almost half of the people in the country face food insecurity which has increased because of the ‘war on terror’ and its fallout on economy and development.

    According to a report released here on Wednesday, food insecurity has affected 48.6 per cent of the people in varying degrees.

    The report — The state of food security in Pakistan — sponsored by the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation says that almost half of the people are chronically food insecure.

    It says that the government has to prioritise its limited resources among defence-related expenditures on curbing militancy, debt retirement, administration and public sector development.

    Obviously defence and debt retirement take priority but the military-food insecurity nexus cannot be ignored. It demands a new paradigm where food insecurity should not be treated merely as a humanitarian issue, but as a national security issue.

    The report is a follow-up of the ‘Food security analysis of rural Pakistan, 2003’ that the Sustainable Development Policy Institute (SDPI) produced in 2004 in collaboration with World Food Programme.

    It endorses a recommendation of the Task Force on Food Security of the Planning Commission about formulation of a national food security strategy.

    The report suggests that primary focus of the strategy should be ensuring food security in the extremely food insecure districts. It says that 80 of the 131 districts (61 per cent) are food insecure. Of these, 45 districts (34 per cent) are extremely food insecure, up from 38 in 2003.

    The number of districts in the second category more than doubled in 2009 to 35 from 16 in 2003.

    The percentage of food secure districts declined from 34 per cent to 20 per cent.

    The report says that even the better-off districts are losing the pace of development, and many people cannot earn sufficient money to meet their basic needs, like food.

    Except Punjab, some districts in the other provinces were in extremely food insecure group.

    Lakki Marwat, Karak and Malakand districts in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa; Umerkot, Mirpurkhas and Dadu in Sindh; Dalbandin, Panjgur, Nushki, Loralai, Mastung, Turbat and Mach in Balochistan and Neelum, Muzaffarabad and Kotli in Azad Jammu and Kashmir (AJK) were added to the extremely food insecure group.

    An analysis shows that 20 per cent of the districts are producing surplus crop-based food, while another 10 per cent meet their own needs.

    Around 70 per cent districts are deficient in crop-based food and rely on other parts of the country or import from abroad.

    More than half districts are extremely deficient in wheat production and another 13 per cent fall in the deficient category. Only 30 per cent districts produce surplus wheat.

    Punjab procures 16 million tons of wheat annually whereas the country’s requirement is about 25 million tons.

    Khyber Pakhtunkhwa meets around 30 per cent of its wheat requirement from its own production.

    Flow of wheat and flour to the Federally Administered Tribal Areas and Afghanistan makes the province vulnerable to frequent food crises.

    About 24 per cent districts produce surplus rice and most of them are in Punjab.

    More than half of the six million tons of milled rice produced in the country is exported.

    The livestock sector produces 41 million tons of milk, more than three million tons of meat and over 10 billion eggs a year. Livestock is the major source of food in pastoral, mountainous and high altitude areas.

    Around 60 per cent districts are extremely deficient in terms of availability of food, both agricultural and animal-based.

    The report says that 15.7 per cent of the population has poor food consumption and 58 per cent is at the borderline.

    Khyber Pakhtunkhwa has the highest percentage of people in the poor food consumption category, followed by Balochistan and Fata.

    More than 25 per cent districts are in the extremely low income group and 46 per cent in the very low income group.

    With an increase in poverty, people spend more on food than on other items. Within the poorest group, the average household expenditure on food has gone up to 61.6 per cent in 2009 from 55.6 per cent in 2005-6.

    Federal Minister for Food and Agriculture Nazar Mohammad Gondal said at the launching of the report that ensuring food security had become a challenging task against the backdrop of soaring food prices in 2007-8 and the situation had been aggravated by the global economic meltdown in 2009.

    He said the war on terror was hurting the already food insecure areas of the country.

    “We are now aiming to sustain an average agricultural growth rate of four per cent per annum over the next decade and implement a transparent and well-managed system of safety nets to provide income support to poor households.”

    He said the Federal Bureau of Statistics was conducting a survey of social and living standards whose report was expected by December.


Share This Page