is as an agricultural country where 75 percent
of the population lives in rural areas. The
world’s financial experts have placed Pakistan
on the list of 36 countries that are facing a
serious food crisis.
Wheat is used as a staple food in Pakistan. In
2009 and 2010, nine million hectares area was
harvested for wheat in Pakistan by all
provinces. The consumption rate of wheat is
124kg/year (GAIN), which is the highest
consumption rate in the world with a population
of 180 million. Pakistan needs an additional
300,000 MT of wheat each year in order to
maintain the current level of consumption.
There are 1,000 mills in
Pakistan that properly serve only 40 percent population due
to a shortage of electricity. Since 2008, the price of wheat
increased 50 percent and Pakistani consumers pay the highest
price of wheat in the world. Costly fuel is one of the main
reasons for the ensuing food crisis. Government policies
towards the agricultural sector are also twisted. Farmers
are not taken into confidence by the government about new
policies framed for the agriculture sector. Our farmers are
usually not familiar with the new techniques of farming,
that is why they grow inadequate crops as compared to other
countries. Being uneducated, they cannot enhance their
production capacity though they need to do so.
There is a chance of that happening if government could set
up rural academies on agricultural products, focusing on
increasing production capacities of small farmers. Another
thing that needs to be considered is the smuggling of
edibles to other countries, as 10 to 20 percent of crops are
smuggled out every year, increasing the demand-supply gap.
Government needs to take this matter seriously and ensure an
extra effort to save us from a continuous food crisis.
Courtesy: The NATION