Mubeena Iram and Junaid Iqbal, Mphil Scholars, GC University, Faisalabad

Blessed with a massive agricultural base, Pakistan has constantly been a food-surplus country, however, elements like climate change diminishing water resources, and failure to build the country’s agriculture on cutting-edge traces; are inflicting this gain to erode hastily. And for a country population of 200 million-plus, unexpected food shortage could be a catastrophe in the waiting. The worst part is that the authorities appear oblivious to the real effect on the financial system and health of humans must things at the meals safety the front worsen abruptly.

For a country having an agricultural capacity as big as Pakistan’s, it's miles certainly shameful to be demanding about meals safety. Pakistan, with its wealthy agriculture and strategic geographic place, surely has the capability of becoming the food basket for the entire area. However, because of a weak focus on agriculture, out of place economic priorities and mismanagement of resources; the country has did not completely exploit even the neighboring Middle East, the arena’s most food- deficit, but rather affluent, place.

Reports about the build-up of locust swarms in Pakistan’s  desert areas is the trendy chance to agriculture in the country, mainly in Sindh and Punjab, the primary food-producing provinces. So a ways, the government has made only lukewarm efforts to shield towards the approaching threat. The obvious lack of preparedness on the a part of the authorities is frightening. Those who understand agriculture realize the devastation this will reason to agriculture and as a result to national food security. However, the unwelcomed locusts are not the best hassle confronted by using agriculture in Pakistan. The real food availability ought to definitely be much less than pronounced inside the reliable information. In such a state of affairs, the effect of any surprising disruption in food deliver can be a ways greater extreme than predicted

The benefit of Pakistan’s massive and various agricultural base is, to a huge extent, nullified with the aid of poor yields; inconsistent authorities rules; a disengaged personal area; and poor garage centers. It is thought that 15 percentage produce in the case of grain vegetation, and as a great deal as 40 percent in the case of horticulture plants, is wasted on the postharvest level because of inadequate transportation and storage facilities. It is ironic that a country with manufacturing volumes as excessive as 25 million metric tons for wheat and 7.5 million metric tons for rice severely lacks modern storage facilities. The country badly needed to invest in constructing silos and cold chains. Innovative commercial enterprise models could have been without problems advanced to draw personal investment into the warehousing region. Reserve stocks of staple food like wheat and rice ought to be built to meet the domestic desires for at least three years. Instead, reserves are usually built only for the ongoing year. This is partially because of restricted availability of storage area and partially because of the self-assurance that the fresh crop of the following year could fill up the stocks in time to make sure uninterrupted supply.

Improving yields via mechanization; satisfactory farm inputs; capability building of farmers; and seamless availability of finance at the grass root stage, are the easiest ways to improve food deliver within the country. There is also scope for increasing food production through unconventional sectors like the fisheries. Deep-sea cage tradition has, so far, remained unexploited in Pakistan. The country continental shelf, in addition to its water reservoirs, provides vast possibilities for developing cage aquaculture. Similarly, opportunity exists in expanding production volumes inside the inland fisheries area by way of promoting fish subculture past the present carp farming, and by educating fish farmers on intensive and semi-intensive fish culture. Promoting higher consumption of fish in the society that is predominantly skewed toward consumption of red meat no longer most effective result in fitness dividends however could additionally relieve pressure from the overburdened livestock sector.

Reliability of facts with respect to agricultural production is also majored source of concern. Livestock is an example where records are feared to be deceptive. Failure to frequently perform a real-time livestock census concurrently across the country And limitations in keeping track of farm animals actions through a digital-tagging mechanism seriously limits the reliability of to be had statistics. Also, marketplace situations with specific connection with constantly rising milk and meat fees contradict the authentic claim approximately the big cattle population inside the country. Reports of unchecked smuggling of livestock through the country of a’s western borders and indiscriminate slaughtering of younger calves that happened unhindered over a long time, also gives upward push to uncertainty approximately a massive livestock populace within the country Similarly, crop-reporting departments generally lack clinical methodologies for amassing and disseminating statistics which results in vulnerable reliance at the numbers offered with the aid of the government. All this adds to the worry because the real food availability could genuinely be less than stated inside the professional records. In this sort of scenario, the impact of any surprising disruption in meals supply will be far extra intense than expected.

About the Author: Mubeena Iram and Junaid Iqbal, Mphil Scholars, GC University, Faisalabad