Future of Food Se­cu­rity

Pak­istan must make sub­stan­tial progress to­wards food se­cu­rity and LTRE is a route that it must take to pro­mote cul­tural change and shift the par­a­digm to es­tab­lish that this is not an ex­pense but an in­vest­ment.

Southasia - - DEVELOPMENT -

Pak­istan is the cra­dle of a 5,000 years old ‘hy­draulic civ­i­liza­tion’ which can be wit­nessed at the UNESCO World Her­itage Site of MoenJo-Daro (Mound of the dead) in Sindh. Wa­ter gives birth to hu­man set­tle­ments and it is the same wa­ter which has de­stroyed th­ese set­tle­ments due to in­suf­fi­cient un­der­stand­ing of nat­u­ral phe­nom­e­non, in­ap­pro­pri­ate re­sponse to river flows or even in­dif­fer­ence to un­der­stand­ing the na­ture of rivers.

No so­ci­ety can ig­nore the im­por­tance of wa­ter for its sur­vival, se­cu­rity and sus­tain­abil­ity. Hu­man progress is di­rectly pro­por­tional to the re­sponses to chang­ing and com­plex chal­lenges faced by mankind. Wa­ter for sur­vival Pak­istan is an agro-based econ­omy; be­ing the world’s 4th largest milk pro­ducer, 4th largest mango pro­ducer and 5th largest cot­ton pro­ducer with about 60% of its pop­u­la­tion of over 200 mil­lion em­ployed in agri­cul­ture and re­lated sec­tors and con­tribut­ing the

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By Nisar A Me­mon largest for­eign ex­change com­po­nent to the trea­sury. It has to de­pend on wa­ter for its sur­vival.

Its 7,250 glaciers, its Karako­rum and Hindu Kush range of moun­tains and the In­dus basin rivers are its key as­sets and a source of wa­ter for drink­ing and agri­cul­ture. How­ever, like all re­sources they need to be used ju­di­ciously and man­aged well to cater to its grow­ing de­mands. Pak­istan’s per capita wa­ter availability cur­rently es­ti­mated at 1066 cu­bic me­ters is ‘stressed’ by Falken­mark in­dex and in 2025 it is fore­cast to be 858 cu­bic me­ters at ‘scarcity’ level. This calls for ur­gent at­ten­tion to pop­u­la­tion and wa­ter man­age­ment. Wa­ter for Se­cu­rity Hu­man se­cu­rity re­quires a close watch on wa­ter se­cu­rity since the food di­rectly de­pends on wa­ter which in turn has in­ter­de­pen­dence of nat­u­ral re­source se­cu­rity, in­sti­tu­tional se­cu­rity, in­fra­struc­ture se­cu­rity and ter­ri­to­rial se­cu­rity. Ter­ri­to­rial se­cu­rity is best han­dled by an ap­pro­pri­ate for­eign pol­icy backed by well-equipped and pro­fes­sional armed forces to meet the overt and covert chal­lenges backed up by the will of na­tion. Nat­u­ral re­source se­cu­rity is im­pacted by earth­quakes and cli­mate changes caus­ing glacier lake out­burst floods (GLOFs) and river floods. In­sti­tu­tional se­cu­rity is as­sured by ed­u­ca­tional and re­search in­sti­tu­tions like cen­tres of ex­cel­lence of our uni­ver­si­ties as well as WAPDA, Pak­istan Me­te­o­ro­log­i­cal De­part­ment, GCISC, PCSIR, PCWR and SUPARCO. In­fras­truc­tural se­cu­rity re­quires con­tin­u­ous watch on the In­dus river basin with the world’s largest ir­ri­ga­tion network struc­tures of dams, bar­rages and canals pro­vid­ing wa­ter to 36 mil­lion acres of con­tigu­ous land. The In­dus Waters Treaty (IWT) inked in 1960 be­tween Pak­istan and In­dia and bro­kered by the World Bank, is con­sid­ered to be a liv­ing ex­am­ple of a suc­cess­ful wa­ter treaty hav­ing sur­vived sev­eral wars be­tween the two coun­tries, mainly be­cause of a dis­pute res­o­lu­tion

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