Syed Fakhar Imam, The Federal Minister of National Food Security and Research in his address to the 25th session of the Near East Forestry and Range Commission (NEFRC) which was virtually hosted by Egypt has said that healthy forest ecosystems are essential for sustainable agriculture production.
He said that Agriculture is likely to face severe impacts from climate change, reducing the amount of food we can grow at a time when more is needed than ever before.
The Federal Minister said that the planet’s growing population and food consumption will require food production to increase by 70% by 2050, The world population is expected to grow from 7 to 9 billion by 2050, With consumption already at 1.5 times the planet’s replenishing capacity, our current food systems are unsustainable.
He further added that at the same time, the production, storage, and transport of food cause greenhouse gas emissions which contribute to climate change, Food systems are responsible for up to 30% of global greenhouse gas emissions.
Syed Fakhar Imam said that the production of rice, which is a staple food for almost half of the world population, is responsible for about 11% of all manmade methane emissions. In addition, cutting down forests for new farmland and unsustainable farming practices are major sources of carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions.
He maintained that the agricultural sector of Pakistan is indispensable to the country’s economic growth, food security, employment generation and poverty alleviation. It contributes 19.2% to the GDP and provides employment to around 39% of the labour force.
Fakhar Imam highlighted that more than 65-70% of the population depends on agriculture for its livelihood, In spite of coronavirus, locust attack and extreme climatic events the Pakistan agriculture sector’s performance during 2020-21 was encouraging as it grows by 2.77% against the target of 2.8%.
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