Drought may force NA people to migrate to Punjab

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Bhurban: Ministry of Food Security and Research Secretary Shafqat Hussain Naghmi has said that his ministry needs guidance on its working for which rules of engagement on working together with experts should be devised by a committee which should also monitor and evaluate us in every respect including human resource and research.


Naghmi was speaking at the second day of a six-day ‘National Workshop on Food Security in Pakistan: Future Challenges and Coping Strategies’ organised by the Ministry of Food Security and Research in collaboration with FDP, FAO, SDPI and Oxfam here on Saturday evening.


Naghmi said that we can have long and short-term plans but we are just bureaucrats and not experts and need to be guided on what is research and who will advise us.


Dr C Inayatullah from World Food Programme said that in case global warming is not checked, glaciers will decline and a drought period will follow which will force the people living in NA to migrate though Punjab and other areas will also be affected.


He said that temperatures in Pakhtunkhwa increased in the last century. He said that deviation in temperature modes was also observed in Gilgit, Skardu, Hunza and Astore. Simulation by International Centre of Climate Change indicated clearly that precipitation is lowering while temperature is growing especially in the north of Pakistan, he added.


He said that Mediterranean rains used to visit this area in winter but in 2010 came in summer also indicating climate change and worsening the flood situation. He said that rainfall pattern is also changing in the country and we are getting more rains in Sindh and an additional reason is rise in sea level, which may result in emergence of ponds and lakes in the province.


The participants were divided into three groups on policy and linked institutions, food and nutrition monitoring, applied research and value chain, and reaching the malnourished and food poor.


Mome Saleem from SDPI, the coordinator of the groups, said that institutional set-up will set the protocols for federal level coordination mechanism to use different methods to collect data on crop and food security assessment, to monitor seasonal crops/livestock, market and prices. She said Integrated Phase Classification (IPC), household food security and nutrition would also monitor it. She said that a portal will be used to establish a web portal for food security and nutrition monitoring.


Krishna Pahari from WFP said that climate change is a hunger-risk multiplier, which will lead to declining yields and agricultural productivity, deteriorating land, more intense weather-related disasters, reduced water availability, food price volatility, increasing conflicts over scarce resources and migration and displacement.


He said that accelerating hunger trends and deepening poverty and inequality in vulnerable countries/communities is an area of concern and WFP is linking disaster risk reduction and climate change adaptation.


Tariq Zehri, Director Food, Balochistan, hoped that Balochistan would multiply its fish catch 5 times in next four years. He said that 60 per cent of camels are in his province and its milk reportedly sells at Rs800 to Rs1,000 per kilo. He said that Balochistan has 40 pc of sheep stocks of the country. He said that 60 per cent apples, 99 per cent grapes, 98 per cent of apricots and 46 per cent of dates of Pakistan are produced in Balochistan.


In the question hour, he said that farmers do not need crop support price but input prices equal to Indian level, which are half of that in Pakistan.


Courtesy: THE NEWS


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