Aqsa Abid, Green Blogger

“A healthy outside starts from inside”, Robert Urich 

The conditions that maintain the quality of food to prevent from contamination and foodborne illnesses known as Food Safety. The intake of unsafe food responsible for a variety of acute and chronic diseases, ranging from diarrhea to severe organ damage.

In the developing countries, the World Health Organization (WHO) estimates that food and waterborne diarrheal diseases are one of the main causes of death in particular for children. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) diarrheal diseases kill more than 2,000 children worldwide every day. 

Food Safety and Pakistan:

Pakistan has set of laws but does not have legal framework, which deals with various aspects of food safety. These laws have huge capacity to achieve minimum level of food safety. However, these laws remain very poorly enforced. There are four laws that specially deals with food safety. Three of these laws directly related to food safety, while the fourth law indirectly related to food safety i.e.: Pakistan Standard and Quality Control Authority Act.

Food Security has been defined by the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO): “Food security exists when all people have physical, social and economic access to sufficient, safe and nutritious food to meet their dietary need and food preferences for an active and healthy life.”

Food security is built on the pillars availability, stability, access and use. On average people require about 2,300 calories per day to live a healthy and active life. Among high income countries there is enough food to allow for consumption of 1,000 calories in excess of this benchmark, while in low income countries food supply in many cases falls substantially below 2,300 calories. Main threats for food security are global population growth, urbanization, climate change, water scarcity, and resource competition. 

To feed a global population estimated to reach 9 billion by 2050, food production will have to increase by roughly 70%, putting agricultural systems under severe pressure. To meet these, there are significant challenges such as the increases in investment, innovation and collaboration among all stakeholders are require. Therefore, food-related risks are high on the political agenda and they are classified as one of the largest risks to societies in the next decades. The food risks include both the food safety and food security.

The several factors that influence the food supply are rising frequency and severity of weather events like flooding, droughts or windstorms seems to be the most important. Insurance has proven to be a crucial element of agricultural risk management.

In addition to providing risk protections for farmers and producers the insurance industry can also contribute to solutions for governments, communities or large public and private institutions, for example by entering into public private partnerships or by setting up micro-insurance schemes. 

About the Author: Aqsa Abid is a student of environment at GCWUS. She is passionate to write about environment and conservation.