FAISALABAD: Achieving food security is one of the biggest challenges in the world as over 800 million people starve due to lack of access to nutritious food annually. To make things worse, the world population will increase to nine billion during this century.
This was said by US Consul General Yuriy R Fedkiw while addressing a seminar on Thursday.
The seminar was titled ‘Sustainable Agriculture’ which was held at University of Agriculture Faisalabad.
The US envoy called for collaborative efforts at global level for agricultural growth to produce more food and to reduce agriculture waste.
He said in order to meet food shortage the agriculture sector must deliver. He stressed upon the need to understand the relationship of food, energy, water and economic security.
Yuriy pointed out Pakistan had faced a number of disasters in the last decade. “The agriculture sector is making significant contribution to the national economy, providing 23% to the Gross Domestic Product and engaging 45% of the workforce.”
He said women comprise 43% of the labour force in the agriculture sector in developed countries. “The United States is committed to creating economic growth and employment opportunities for the people of Pakistan and considers the agricultural sector a top priority,” the consul general said.
He said: “We are confident that our investments in Pakistan will bring long-term positive growth in the sector.”
The consul general encouraged UAF students to find innovative solutions to address Pakistan’s agricultural challenges and identify opportunities that will benefit the people of Punjab.
UAF Vice-Chancellor Prof Dr Iqrar Ahmad said a group of farmers had been sent to America and China to know about the latest practices in the sector. He added the UAF was revamping the agriculture policy to make it farmer friendly.
Deputy High Commissioner Jurek Jufzczyk and former speaker National Assembly Fakhar Imam also spoke on the occasion.
Earlier, Yuriy inaugurated the newly constructed US-Pakistan Centre for Advanced Studies in Agriculture and Food Security at the UAF campus. The centre has been built at a cost of $30 million.
Published in The Express Tribune, November 18th, 2016.