Pakistan to achieve targets of food
security, economic prosperity
By Staff Report
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
While addressing as a
chief guest at Pakistan Strategy Support Programme (PSSP)
2nd Annual Conference, organised by USAID, launched in July
PSSP is a four-year policy
analysis and capacity strengthening initiative of USAID,
implemented by International Food Policy Research Institute
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
Therefore, the government is
fully committed to agricultural development in order to move
towards a more food secure country.”
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
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.”
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
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.