By Rabail Malik
The World Food Summit in 1996 defined the term food security as “when all people, at all times, have physical and economic access to sufficient safe and nutritious food to meet their dietary needs and food preferences for a healthy and active life‟. This definition encompasses five basic aspects of food security; availability, access, stability, nutritional status and preferences of food. The focal point of national and global food security is in general on the supply side of the food that whether sufficient food is available or not.
A nation could be self-sufficient in food if it can control the equilibrium between supply and demand. However the availability of food cannot pledge its access to the people. To make certain food security at the individual level there is a need to address access part. Food security is very important for the health of a nation, more so, for its independence and respectable living among the international community. Pakistan is facing severe food security crises even though agriculture is the base of Pakistan’s economy contributing 21% of the GDP.It is the most tangible risk to Pakistan. Increase food production and improved access to food sources can help alleviate the risk. Population explosion is creating an immense threat of food scarcity for Pakistan in near future leaving the production level falling down day by day, causing increase in price of food commodities. According to the National Nutrition Survey 2013, around 60 per cent of Pakistan’s population is facing food insecurity, and in these households, almost 50 per cent women and children were malnourished.
Changes in climate is also affecting the sustainability of agricultural systems and disrupting production. Despite the fact, that Pakistan is at the bottom in emitting greenhouse gases. In the face of predictions of more extreme weather, Pakistan’s federal and provincial governments and civil society organizations are accountable to protect citizens by materializing their pledges and scaling up in progress programmes that help ensure resilience to climate-related risks.
Food security can also be linked by agriculture methods. Government of Pakistan should educate farmers to adapt biotechnology and eco-friendly farming methods to improve food security related problems.
Capacity Building Strategies focus on building individual and community skills should also be adapted. This can include education and capacity building around gardening and preserving foods. These activities help provide individuals and communities with the fundamental food skills required to feed themselves and their families.
Considering all circumstances, vision without action is day dream and action without vision is wastage of time. The government of Pakistan should deal with this matter warmly. Unless this fundamental need “food” is left unmet, the people cannot work the development of Pakistan and divert their energies and loyalties towards the country. National food security strategy must be evolved primarily focusing on ensuring the food security in extremely food insecure districts. The government of Pakistan and its international allies should set up activity that addresses domestic governance issues.