“Nearly 925 million people across the world do not have enough food to eat. Every 3.6 seconds, someone dies of hunger,” UAF Vice Chancellor Iqrar Ahmad Khan said on Friday.
He was addressing a seminar organised to mark World Food Day.
“The world population was 2 billion 60 years ago. It has risen to 7 billion in 2015,” he said.
He said it was estimated that by 2050, the population would rise to 9 billion.
“Catering to basic human needs is going to be a challenge for agricultural scientists and the farming community,” he said.
He said that in 1870s, a famine commission had been set up which had paved way for the irrigation canals which turned barren land around Faisalabad into productive farms by 1900.
Ahmed said climate change posed the biggest threat to food security.
He said a chair on climate change had been set up at the UAF’s Centre for Advanced Studies in Agriculture and Food Security.
Former information minister Nisar A Memon said that Pakistan ranked 76th on the food security index. He said food security was essential to cope with malnutrition.
“The devastation in Chitral during monsoon maybe an early indication of the problems that lie ahead,” he said.
Met Department DG Ghulam Rasool said efforts should be made to tackle water scarcity.
“Availability of water per person water is less than 1,000 cubic metres a year. This makes Pakistan a water-scarce country,” he said.
Faculty of Food Sciences Dean Masood Sadiq Butt said the UAF had started an undergraduate programme in Human Nutrition and Dietetics to encourage research and training in the field.
He said the Food and Agriculture Organisation of the United Nations (FAO) celebrated World Food Day on October 16.
He said this year’s theme was Social Protection and Agriculture: Breaking the Cycle of Rural Poverty.
As many as 40 goats were distributed among eight women farmers at the end of the seminar.
Published in The Express Tribune, October 17th, 2015.