Karachi (April 30, 2015) Experts, researchers, civil society activists and elected representatives of Sindh province have declared the establishment of Federal Ministry of National Food Security and Research after the 18th amendment in the constitution as the violation of the Constitution of Pakistan. They have demanded abolition of this federal ministry and have also demanded of establishment of a separate Provincial Food Security Minister in Sindh in the face of growing food insecurity in the province. These demands were made in a provincial conference on “Rural Entrepreneurship and Food Security in Sindh” organized by Participatory Development Initiatives (PDI) jointly with Trocaire in a local hotel on Thursday.
Those presented their papers in the conference included MQM MPA Ms Rana Ansar PML (N) MPA Haji Shafi Mohammed Jamote SZABIST Professor Dr. Manzoor Ahmed Isran, Sindh Agriculture University Tando Jam Professor Dr. Mohammed Ismail Kumbhar, Kabool Mohammed Khatian Vice President Sindh Chamber of Agriculture (Lower Sindh) Young expert Zulfiqar Halepoto, Seasoned journalist G. N Mughal, Sikander Brohi Executive Director PDI, Saima Hassan, Qadir Baloch, Adam Malik, Chetan Kumar and others.
The experts said that around 71 percent household are food insecure in Sindh province. They further added that between 2003-4 and 2008-9, the number of surplus food producing districts has decreased from 11 to 6 and most of the districts are located in the coastal areas. The frequent deaths of children in Thar in recent months are glaring examples of food shortages. According to research conducted by the Planning and Development department, Govt. of Sindh, the number of stunted children below five years is 49.8 percent, and underweight children is 40.5 percent, he added holding feudal system responsible for the food crisis in the province of Sindh.
While passing a number of resolutions, the participants of the conference demanded of the government to amend the constitution to make food security as basic human right. It was also demanded that provincial level food security policy be formulated in Sindh province. Massive infrastructure should be developed in the rural areas with all other basic facilities to arrest the negative trend large scale migration from the rural areas to urban areas which is further increasing food insecurity. The participants also demanded that agro industry and agriculture processing zones be established in Sindh and agriculture marketing be improved. It was also demanded that practical steps be taken for the access to food for the common and poor people in the province.