Food Insecurity and Climate Change! National & International Scenario

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Any substance (liquid or solid) which, when consumed provides energy for growth and development of body. Food is very crucial for humanity to live alive because it provides us the energy to grow and live stronger. Irrespective of fulfilling our dietary needs it also represents cultural values as well. Many cultures in the world hold some food preferences and food taboos. Dietary choices also play role in religion. For example in Hinduism meat of beef is restricted, in Islam only Halal food is permitted. Food security is actually much more than production, distribution, and consumption. It exists when all people, at all-time have economic and physical access to safe, nutritious and wholesome food to meet their dietary needs leading to growth and development.

Food insecurity is what! Round the global.

The state of not having reliable access to a sufficient quantity of affordable, nutritious food. Approximately more than 800 million people live every day with hunger or food insecurity as their constant companion round the global. Food insecurity is actually leading to malnutrition (under nutrition and over nutrition).Malnutrition is a hot issue in every country of the world and is a global disease driver. The 2016 Global Nutrition report demonstrate that 44 percent of countries data available (57 out of 129 countries) now having serious level of undernutrition(Food insecurity) , obesity and overweight, despite some countries doing their best to figure out this problem but not the whole world is on track to reduce and reverse this trend.

 Food Insecurity scenario in Pakistan!

In spite of enough food production to fulfill the needs of Pakistani`s 180 million people, the condition of food security has been spoiling in the Pakistan. The count of people with insecure food is rising. According to WFP from a population of 188.9 million almost 60 percent of the population is food insecure and 44 percent child under 5 are stunted.  In a report of year 2010 of WFP, nearly half of the population was insecure and this count boosted after the unfortunate floods that let under water of almost half of the total Pakistan`s landmass .This is sad to know that 60 percent population in Pakistan are living below absolute poverty line and almost 70-80 percent of them spend their income only to buy food (Zeeshan Azmat 2016). Although Pakistan is an agricultural country and is self-sufficient in production of major food crops for its people but reports suggest that 80 million people in the Pakistan are insecure and this count may increase in the coming days.

Pakistan is facing `6F crisis` (Food, fiscal, fuel, functional democracy, frontier: war on terrorism and fragility of climate) while rest of the world faced 3F crisis (food, fuel, fiscal. The six Fs are interconnected to each other, these could be figure out while addressing these all side by side. The collective effect of all these is deteriorating the Food Security of poor segment of the society. The main factors of food insecurity are rising prices of food which is outreach of poor sector of the country, floods in year 2010 (damaging and destroying about 109,822 villages with productive lands that were producing food for the people), incapability for storage of food and lack of storage of water.

Tragedy of Thar: a desert of Pakistan

The devastating food insecurity exists in Thar, people and in particularly young Childs are dying of malnutrition due insufficient to eat, ignorance, lack of family planning leading to pregnancy over pregnancy, ill equipped hospitals, and famines. Thar is the only place in Pakistan where 80 percent people burrow money to buy food, with these borrowed money you could have only the crucial things like that of flour and rice not you could have, onion ,garlic, potatoes and tomatoes.

The country’s population count has exceeded over 190 million and on the other hand it is expected that there will be 300 million people in Pakistan by 2030 keeping the current child birth rate in mind. To tackle this problem of food insecurity there is damn need of using biotechnology in the agriculture sector because biotech crops are able to increase crop productivity leading to food security in the country. Government should make policies regarding the use of biotech crops to tackle emergency needs.

Food insecurity and Climate change:

Food insecurity and climate change are interrelated issues and are leading to huge change in food crop production and land utilization in the coming years due to adverse effect of climate change as the change in temperature will put strain on the productivity of cash crops such as sugar, wheat and cotton and rice leading to food insecurity. The average temperature of earth has risen to almost 1.50F over the past  century and is believed by environmental scientist that  it may be projected to rise another 0.5 to 8.50F over the next hundred years (EPA).This is what climate change is? It includes major changes in temperature, rainfall or wind patterns and many other factors that occurs over several decades or longer. Climate change is affecting the whole globe and leading to imbalance in summer and winter season, increase in temperature, sea level rising leading to floods (2010), crop damage, the uncertain rainfall, low per hectare crop production compared to developed countries, small land holdings, drought stress, pest attack (pink boll worm), infectious diseases, salinity, non-availability of good quality seeds are the key factors to food insecurity in Pakistan.

Climate change affects production of different major food crops. Considering an increase in temperature by 300C in 2050, per capita availability of wheat would be only 84 kg per annum compared to 198 kg per annum in 2012(Tariq et al). Rise in sea level leading to fertile lands under water (floods) ruining land fertility and disturbing food crop production hugely resulting in food insecurity of masses. Food insecurity and climate change is an aptly documented issue in literature in Pakistan sounded the alarm that Pakistan government should incorporate these both issues in their National policy on urgent basis to figure out this hitch and make save country’s agriculture sector as it is the backbone of the Food security of people in Pakistan.

This article is collectively authored by Ali Hassan*1, Amir Shehzad2 Rao M Sajjad Sharif3 1National Institute of Food Science and Technology, University of Agriculture Faisalabad. 2National Institute of Food Science and Technology, University of Agriculture Faisalabad. 3Institute of Soil and Environmental Sciences, University of Agriculture Faisalabad. 


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