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Pakistan to achieve targets of food security, economic prosperity
By Staff Report


Pakistan to achieve targets of food security, economic prosperity:-Pakissan.comFederal Minister for Planning, Development and Reforms Prof Ahsan Iqbal said on Tuesday that we should operate our agriculture and livestock sectors at their optimal levels by introducing on-farm best management practices and value-addition techniques.

While addressing as a chief guest at Pakistan Strategy Support Programme (PSSP) 2nd Annual Conference, organised by USAID, launched in July 2011.

PSSP is a four-year policy analysis and capacity strengthening initiative of USAID, implemented by International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI).

Innovation Development Strategies (IDS) under the guidance of a National Advisory Committee, headed by Planning Commission Deputy Chairman Prof Ahsan Iqbal.

The core purpose of the programme is to contribute to pro-poor economic growth and enhanced food security through strengthening capacity for designing and implementing evidence-based policy reforms.

Prof Iqbal highlighted, “We cannot materialise the dream of integrated development without developing agriculture, the key sector of our economy.

Therefore, the government is fully committed to agricultural development in order to move towards a more food secure country.”

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Only after having enough of food supply, we can talk about evolving an efficient system of food distribution, which is an essential condition for improving the access of poor household to food at affordable prices.

The government is committed to increasing non-farm employment in rural areas through small and medium enterprises for accelerating gross domestic product growth target over 7.0 to 8.0 percent in order to cater to the needs of bulging young population, he added.

He said, “We can earn rich dividends through private sector investment in human resource development in areas like food production, processing, packaging, supply livestock farming, fisheries, horticulture and forestry.

Pro-poor investment in these sectors can help overcome menace of unemployment and poverty by creating job opportunities.”

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He also urged upon the PSSP researchers to map out cluster-based value chains in agriculture sector establishing collaborative partnership of public, private sectors and academia/researchers.

The federal minister stressed upon the need of conducting research to promote efficient use of water in agriculture.

Pakistan is a water scarce country, and is feared to face acute water crisis within a decade if not planned properly and used judiciously, he said.

He added, “We need to bridge knowing doing gap in our public sector for effective implementation and monitoring of development projects, and create ‘knowing to doing’ culture in the country.

The political leadership of the country is sincere, optimistic and dedicated to developing this nation, and wants to turn around the economy in favour of prosperity.”

The federal minister appreciated the contribution of USAID for economic development of Pakistan, and expressed his desire that PSSP should promote evidence-based research on the emerging issues of the country to come up with more doable and practicable recommendations that can be inculcated in the policy and plan documents.

He, however, urged upon the US leadership not to link development aid with any conditionality, because that would be counterproductive for fostering good relations between the two strategic partners in the region, and the policy of the government is to not accept conditions which interfere with country’s laws.

January, 2014

Source:  Daily Times

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