MINGORA: Swat was declared a food insecure district in a seminar titled ‘Empowering People, Ending Hunger’ held in Mingora on Tuesday to mark World Hunger Day.
Organised by Lasoona, Society for Human and Natural Resource Development and Welthungerhilfe, a German non-governmental organisation, the seminar was held to raise awareness about sustainable food systems for food security and nutrition.
Welthungerhilfe Project Head Daniel Rupp said nearly half of Pakistan’s females and children suffer from “under nutrition” while around 1.5 million children suffer from acute malnutrition which can lead to death.
Rupp said sustainable farming and reducing unemployment can help tackle the problem of malnutrition in the country. Lasoona Programme Manager Noor Malik explained food security is only achieved if adequate food, in terms of quantity, quality, safety and socio-cultural acceptability, is available to all individuals.
Farmers from Swat valley also expressed their views about the food insecurity, complaining crops and orchards have suffered heavy losses in Swat because of militancy and floods.
Kher Mohammad, a farmer from Barikot said, “The July 2010 floods inflicted unprecedented harm to the agriculture sector by inundating all lands located along the Swat River.” He asked the government to take steps to aid the agriculture sector in combating food shortage.
Published in The Express Tribune, May 29th, 2013.