ISLAMABAD - The Pakistan Economy Watch (PEW) on Sunday expressed reservations over government’s response to the looming food shortage threat.

It demanded increased investment to ensure food security for the whole population, most of which, it said, found it difficult to get adequate food. “Situation in Pakistan with respect to food security has deteriorated since 2003,” it added.

“The government must have full details of food security situation so that the policymakers could plan on the basis of ground realities as food insecurity anywhere threatens peace everywhere,” said PEW President Dr Murtaza Mughal.

He said that global agricultural production must be enhanced by 50 percent by 2050 to feed nine billion people, as majority of world’s poor and malnourished lived in SAARC region.

Mughal said that population was growing at a rapid pace while the agricultural production continued to recede due to climate changes, thus giving rise to new challenges.

“Production cannot be enhanced when farming community is dissatisfied,” he said, adding, “The issues confronting farmers should be tackled on a priority basis.”

He noted that efforts to ensure food security had suffered a blow due to insufficient investment and a lack of coordination.

“The risk can be averted through policy reforms, investment and innovative ways to increase production and access to food,” he said.

Mughal warned that food insecurity may cause conflicts, civil wars and could threaten the overall peace of community, society, nation and world, depending on the extent and spectrum of hunger and poverty.