ISLAMABAD - The government has decided to establish a high-level National Food Security Council (NFSC) in order to develop national policy for long term sustainability of agriculture on profitable basis.

Prime Minister of Pakistan would be the chairman of the council and various federal ministers as its members, sources in the Ministry of National Food Security and Research said.

“The council will be aiming at ensuring policy coordination across provinces, agriculture and livestock productivity improvements, market reforms, value addition and prices for ensuring stable incomes for the farmers,” Giving details of the Terms of References (TORs), the sources said, the council would work for enhancing policy coordination across provinces including areas like food, agriculture and livestock.

In addition, the council would work for implementing policy initiatives for enhancing agriculture and livestock productivity and would be responsible for initiating market reforms and addressing issues of market distortion to ensure fair returns to the farmers besides promoting value addition of agriculture and livestock products.

Ensuring fair return to the growers for their agriculture produce through farmers-friendly price interventions and rationalization of farm input prices to reduce cost of production and better return to the farmers would also be the responsibilities of the council.

As far as the proposed composition of the council is concerned, the Prime Minister of Pakistan would be the Chairman of the council.

The members would include Federal Minister for National Food Security and Research (MNF&R), Federal Minister for Finance, Federal Minister for Planning, Development and Reform, Federal Minister for Industries and Production, Federal Minister for Industries and Production, Federal Minister for Commerce, Federal Minister for Textile Industry, Federal Minister for Climate Change, Provincial Chief Ministers, a representative of private sector or civil society and a representative of Farmers Association whereas Federal Secretary, Ministry of National Food Security and Research would be the Member as well Secretary of the Council.

The sources said that before the finalization of the policy, the MNF&R held a brainstorming session at the Pakistan Agriculture Research Council to make the policy comprehensive and result-oriented.

The brainstorming session was attended by secretaries of various ministries including MNF&R, Commerce and Industries and Production.

Meanwhile, Chairman PARC, Iftikhar Ahmed termed the policy as need of the time that would help boost agriculture sector and play its due role in the economic development of the country.