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Food security challenge for farmers

Speake­rs call for new crop variet­ies and effect­ive policy to cope with demand­

Speakers call for new crop varieties and effective policy to cope with demand. PHOTO: APP

Speakers call for new crop varieties and effective policy to cope with demand. PHOTO: APP

FAISALABAD: Veteran businessman and Lahore University of Management Sciences (Lums) Pro Chancellor Syed Babar Ali on Monday called for taking measures to develop and promote heat-resilient crops, precision agriculture, bio-technology, efficient water usage and agricultural policy reforms in order to ensure food security and fight the challenges of climate change.

He was chairing a consultative meeting of USAID, Centre for Advanced Studies (CAS), University of Agriculture Faisalabad (UAF) and Lums on ‘Agriculture and Food Security’ at the UAF.

“Amid the rapid population increase, agricultural areas are shrinking and it has become a challenge now for the farming community and agricultural experts to ensure food security in the region,” he said.

Lamenting on the record water wasted last year, he called for a mechanism to store water in line with how it is done in California. “There they have stored water well enough for 10 years to fight the challenges of climate change,” he said.

He also showed concerns over the farmer community being exploited by the middle men, and said the latter’s role must be reduced to safeguard the rights of farmers. “Also, rural people are now migrating towards cities and giving their land on rent since the cost of production is high.”

He also urged the government to develop skilled manpower equipped with agricultural education to run their own agri-business, based on innovative ideas.

Published in The Express Tribune, October 13th, 2015.

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