PM Proposed a five-point agenda to end poverty, hunger from the world
PM terms “Forestation ‘a lifesaver” for Pakistan’s future generations
ISLAMABAD, Prime Minister Imran Khan on Wednesday describing agriculture as “central to human survival” proposed a five-point agenda to end poverty and hunger from the world.
The prime minister in his virtual address called for investing in sustainable agriculture development, ensuring adequate and fair prices of food products, applying new technologies and rethinking patterns of food consumption and production.
“I further propose that a new strategy for sustainable food production and consumption should be considered and adopted at the Food Systems Summit next year,” Imran Khan said while addressing the inaugural session of the Governing Council of International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) held in Rome, Italy.
The Prime Minister in his key-note address also spoke on the adverse effects of the COVID-19 pandemic on the economies of various countries especially the developing ones, pushing another 100 million people into extreme poverty.
He also shared with participants Pakistan’s experiences and efforts to mitigate the sufferings of poor people including the historic US S $ 8 billion relief package given by his government during the COVID-19 pandemic.
The prime minister while proposing the five-point agenda to end poverty and hunger, said firstly they ought to invest in sustainable agriculture infrastructure – for facilitating transport, production and distribution of agricultural inputs and food products.
The “Green Lanes” created by China was a good example,” he added.
Secondly, he said, the governments needed to more actively ensure adequate and fair prices for agricultural and food products. The so-called “magic of the market place” should be balanced by the very visible hand of the State, he added.
The prime minister said,” We in Pakistan have suffered from market manipulations by monopolists and hoarders.”
“Farmers should not be left to the mercy of the corporations. At the same time, international agricultural trade must be rationalized. The huge agricultural subsidies provided by certain richer economies distort global markets and make it impossible for farmers in the developing countries to compete,” he remarked.
Thirdly, Imran Khan said, the new and breakthrough agricultural technologies and techniques must be consciously applied to enhance food production; ensure efficient usage of water and land; and above all improve seed quality.
IFAD and the Food and Agricultural Organization (FAO) could play a major role in that context, he added.
Fourthly, the prime minister said the adoption of digital technologies was as vital in agriculture as in other economic sectors. Ensuring internet and broadband access to the rural areas would be vital for their integration into national and global supply chains, he added.
“Fifth, and perhaps the most important, we must re-think our patterns of food consumption and production. We can eat better and many of us would do well to eat less. We can produce food with greater respect for Nature. We can stop the pollution of our lakes, rivers and oceans. We can produce more with less water, and without dangerous chemicals,” he maintained.
Prime Minister Imran Khan on Wednesday terming forestation a ‘lifesaver for future of Pakistan’ said the government was firm to make the country green considering its vulnerability to climate change.
“For Pakistan, the plantation is not a hobby, but a vital step to give our future generations a clean and healthy environment to breathe in,” the Prime Minister said at the launch of Islamabad’s first-ever Japanese method-inspired Miyawaki forest at Shakarparian hills.
The Miyawaki technique helps in plant growth, which is 10 times faster and results in 30 times denser forestation.
Twenty sites in Islamabad have been identified to be developed on lines of Miyawaki style, also called Potted Seedling Method.
Prime Minister Imran Khan said Pakistan was among the 10 most vulnerable countries to climate change and rising temperatures and stressed the need for urgent steps to mitigate the challenge.
He pointed that environmental conditions in the metropolitans like Lahore and Peshawar – once known as the Garden Cities, had become awful due to increased levels of pollution.
He said the air-borne toxins were particularly dangerous for the elderly and children and could result in reducing an average of eleven years of human life.
He regretted that the alarming situation was in fact the fallout of turning Lahore into a ‘concrete jungle’ by callous tree-cutting and said rapid forestation was the only way to counter it.
Imran Khan emphasized changing the lifestyles in a way to be ‘more caring and friendly towards the environment.
“Our government is determined to bring change on earth (through plantation) and to the mindsets as well,” he said.
He mentioned that the government of Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf had successfully planted one billion trees in Khyber Pukhtunkhwa and was committed to achieving the next 10 Billion Tree Tsunami goal.
The Prime Minister commended the efforts of Federal Minister on Climate Change Malik Amin Aslam and his team for executing the forestation projects in an effective manner.
He called upon the youth to take reigns of their future in their own hands’ and actively participate in the government’s plantation drive.
Imran Khan said the inclusion of chapters related to a plantation in the academic syllabus was also under consideration to sensitize the next generation right from their early ages.