Food insecurity takes a ‘nasty’ turn globally

Published: April 2, 2013

The ASLP Phase II has contributed a total 12.95 million Australian dollars (Rs1.2 billion) over four years to agricultural research. PHOTO: MUHAMMAD JAVAID/EXPRESS

FAISALABAD: Food insecurity globally has taken a “nasty” turn as growth in grain production stood at 0.9% per annum against an increase in population of 1.7% annually. The situation demands immediate steps on the part of all stakeholders to wipe out hunger from the globe, said experts from Australia.

The two-member Australian Support Linkages Programme (ASLP) delegation held a meeting with University of Agriculture Faisalabad Vice Chancellor Professor Dr Iqrar Ahmad Khan. The Australian team comprised Professor Robert Fitzgerald and Sandra Heaney-Mustafa.

Talking about ASLP Phase II areas in Pakistan, Fitzgerald said the ASLP was meant to build Pakistan’s technical capacity to improve agricultural productivity. He said it is building linkages between the agricultural sectors of Australia and Pakistan in order to improve the livelihood of the rural poor in Pakistan.

The ASLP Phase II has contributed a total 12.95 million Australian dollars (Rs1.2 billion) over four years to agricultural research. He added that it enhanced the ability of Pakistan’s research, development and extension system to deliver targeted and practical research outputs to agribusiness and farmers, and to help change the lives of small farmers across Pakistan. He added that phase II will continue to focus on horticulture (mango and citrus) and livestock (dairy) enterprises.

The UAFs vice chancellor said that around 900 million people in the world were undernourished.

He stressed the need to use latest technology and practices in Pakistan to ensure food security. He also praised the support and steps of Australia to increase per acre yield in the country.

Published in The Express Tribune, April 2nd, 2013.

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Reader Comments (5)

  • Sexton Blake
    Apr 2, 2013 - 9:45AM

    It is good that Australians are worrying about the less well endowed people of Pakistan. Perhaps they will now spend a little time worrying about the Australians, in Australia, who are doing it hard

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  • Fly on the wall
    Apr 2, 2013 - 3:10PM

    One could resort to using latest technologies, presumably to manupulate climate, or river flows or use unsuitable chemicals in order to intensify crop production but the fact appears to remain that population explosion is the main cause of the the hunger in those regions, which will escalate and add to the catastrophes already faced by those regions. Such degrees of manipulations and intensification of crop output can bring with them added problems which have not been looked into by the regional authorities.

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  • Sexton Blake
    Apr 2, 2013 - 6:15PM

    I am not an Horticulturist, and perhaps some people in Pakistan experience problems I am not aware of, but what is so difficult about growing citrus fruit. Just plant trees, give them very little care, perhaps a few buckets of water when the temperature gets over 35 degrees Celsius, and get many, many lemons and oranges. If anybody wants dairy products I suggest they buy cows and milk them. It is hardly rocket science. Who needs a few Professors spending Rs1.2 billion to advise farmers about what they have been doing for thousands of years?

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  • cautious
    Apr 2, 2013 - 8:16PM

    @Sexton Blake

    I am not an Horticulturist, and
    perhaps some people in Pakistan
    experience problems I am not aware of,
    but what is so difficult about growing
    citrus fruit. Just plant trees, give
    them very little care, perhaps a few
    buckets of water when the temperature
    gets over 35 degrees Celsius, and get
    many, many lemons and oranges. If
    anybody wants dairy products I suggest
    they buy cows and milk them. It is
    hardly rocket science

    So how many fruit trees and cows do you manage? May not be rocket science but successful farming is hard work – most don’t have the skills nor land to even attempt and Pakistani farmers would clearly benefit by employing the technology developed by the West.

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  • Sexton Blake
    Apr 3, 2013 - 5:05AM

    @cautious:
    Having worked on large rural properties for many years before I received my university degree I have some experience with how farmers operate, and they certainly do not need academics telling them how to operate. Further, I will not go into how Western expertise and technology, together with faulty banking methodologies and business practices, have virtually brought most Western countries to their knees economically. However, I am always willing to learn and perhaps you could explain how so-called Western expertise could help Pakistan. Just keep in mind that when the sub-continent achieved its independence from the British many people were going hungry. Now the population has more than doubled, but somehow their farmers have developed the expertise to feed them. They have obviously acquired some skills along the way. However, in one aspect of your missive you were quite right. There is no substitute for hard work

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