ISLAMABAD: Federal Minister for National Food Security and Research, Syed Fakhar Imam, has said that there is no immediate threat of food shortage in the country despite the ongoing locust attack and the prediction of surplus Monsoon rains. However, the government is planning strategy for next year in view of declined agricultural production.
He said this while talking in an exclusive interview with Editor in Chief Pakistan Group of Newspapers and Chairman Roze News Sardar Khan Niazi on Monday in Roze News renowned talk show ‘Sachi Baat’, he said 19% of Pakistan’s GDP based on agriculture as country’s economy depends on agriculture sector. Answering a question by Sardar Khan Niazi he said that it is unfortunate that in the previous government’s agriculture was not given the proper attention.
Fakhar informed that a strategy to deal with expected Monsoon rains and floods is also being discussed with provinces at national command and control centre. He said, Ministry of Food in collaboration with National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA) will make all-out efforts to save crops from rains and floods, saying, “We can make an estimate of threats like locust, rains and floods which can be prevented to some extent but complete protection is not possible for crops under the open sky.” The minister said that the government is working on the crops insurance policy to make it easier to benefit the farmers. Pakistan Meteorological Department has predicted floods in country’s eastern rivers due to surplus monsoon rains from July to September this year and risk of urban flooding will persist in big cities.
Pakistan’s Agriculture is facing attack of locust along with severe weather conditions while Met office has predicted that monsoon rains will provide ideal environment for the growth of locust.
Fakhar Imam told that the Prime Minister Imran Khan has announced national emergency and allocated 26 billion rupees to fight the locust attack. He said that federal and provincial governments are working to eliminate locust under a comprehensive strategy and trying to stop fertilization of locust with chemical spray by using three planes of ministry of food security along with five helicopter of Pakistan Army.