Pakistan’s food insecurity

Pakistan News 0 Comment 4

It is abundantly clear that negative conditions in one sector of the country will impact other sectors.

The Asian Development Bank’s recent report, Food Insecurity in Asia: Why Institutions Matter, has parsed apart specific areas that are affecting food security in Pakistan.

The report elucidates a critical point: the majority of food items secured high self-sufficiency ratios, meaning there is less relevance of food production to the food insecurity problem and it has more to do with dissatisfactory governance. This would be an agreeable assumption based on the premise that governance has been found to be lacking in numerous other areas as well.

Although counterintuitive against the backdrop of rapidly razed edifices and industrialisation of cities like Karachi, the report claims that lack of economic growth and political instability are also contributing factors. Tackling the food insecurity problems would assuage the problems in several other sectors, such as child malnutrition, stunted growth and maternal health.

The report rightfully alludes to the lack of purchasing power of the lower socioeconomic classes when it comes to quality food items. This is a sorry but classist state of affairs. Basic health and safety standards, first and foremost, need to be followed for all foodstuffs by all manufacturers and vendors.

Moreover, even though many welfare organisations offer free or subsidised meals, there needs to be a foolproof system where all people in need can gain access to basic food items on their own. Households and families should be enabled to become self-sufficient rather than having to send off their children from villages to cities to earn money working as child labourers. This can only be achieved through fair wages determined by the state or provincial authorities, and of course, enforcement of labour laws.

Government oversight needs to ascertain that the future of food accessibility improves so as to provide citizens with this most basic essential for the sustenance of life.

Published in The Express Tribune, October 8th, 2017.

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The post Pakistan’s food insecurity appeared first on The Express Tribune.

Source: Tribune News | Pakistan’s food insecurity

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