rawalpindi - The speakers addressing a seminar mentioned that food security is one of the main challenges that world is facing today and emphasised that Pakistan needs to acquire new technologies and adopt good agricultural practices for production to ensure food security for the public at large.

They also urged that agriculture innovations, new varieties and all other technologies must be shared among the farmers to develop agriculture on modern lines.

They stated this at a seminar on ‘Food Security and Export of Vegetables’ organised by department of horticulture, Pir Mehr Ali Shah Arid Agriculture Rawalpindi (PMAS-AAUR) yesterday, with an aim to raise public awareness about food security.

On this occasion, PMAS-AAUR Vice Chancellor Prof Dr Rai Niaz Ahmad was the chief guest while Renate Pors, Deputy Head of Mission of the Embassy of the Netherlands, was the guest of honour. Faculty members, students, farmers and researchers were also present.

Speaking on the occasion, Prof Dr Rai Niaz Ahmad appreciated the efforts of the organisers for holding seminar on a serious issue and stressed the need for improving the per acre crop output by utilising innovative technologies as well as addressing the farm management issues.

He also explained the food security problem in Pakistan and said that if this matter was not taken seriously, Pakistan would be at risk of food shortage and hunger in near future. He pointed out that academia and industry have to come together with strong linkage and find sustainable solutions to the situation of food insecurity, safety, hunger and malnutrition.

He urged the scientists of the university to play their role to create awareness among farming community about the latest techniques in the agriculture to make Pakistan a food-sufficient country in order to feed the increasing population.

The VC informed that university was working closely with agricultural scientists, international partners and farmers to propagate agriculture-research and bring innovations at the doorstep of farmers across the country.

Renate Pors said that Netherlands is a small country but has very high agricultural productivity. She said, “Our expertise in research, innovation and agricultural technology allow us to be one of major food exporters of the word and Pakistan as an agrarian society can benefit from this expertise to improve the state of food security here.

We have to think of the growing population. Even today one billion people are facing malnutrition and we need to improve research and farmers’ practices on modern scientific lines to change that.”

Romke Wustman, a Dutch expert on food security, while delivering his keynote address, spoke about the need for good agricultural practices and understanding that there is chain of stakeholders in agricultural production which includes researchers, farmers and retailers amongst others.

He said good agricultural practices allow the farmer to meet the specifications of the buyers and ensure the economic continuity of the stakeholders.

He suggested improvement agricultural production system on scientific lines to enhance sustainable food production. This will not only improve the livelihood of population but will also be a step towards assuring food security in the country, he added.