ISLAMABAD (APP)- Agriculture experts and speakers at a seminar, marking the World Food Day, stressed the need for coming up with comprehensive strategies to cope with the challenges of climatic change, bio-energy and global food crisis. They were of the view that changes in temperatures and precipitation, as well as more frequent extreme weather patterns, are expected to result in agriculture production shortfalls with negative impacts on access to food. The one-day seminar on "The Challenges of Climate Change and Bio-Energy," was organised by National Agriculture Research Centre (NARC) in collaboration with Ministry of Food, Agriculture and Livestock (MinFAL). Among others, the seminar was attended by Federal Minister for MINFAL, Nazar Muhammad Gondal as Chief Guest, Secretary MinFAL Mohammad Zia-ur-Rehman, Chairman PARC, Zafar Altaf, United Nations Country Representatives including Dr. Mohammad Farah from Food Agriculture Organization (FAO), Wolfgang Herbinger from World Food Programme (WFP) and Fikret Akcura, UN Resident Coordinator. Speaking on the occasion, the federal minister said that agriculture productivity and food security has attained a new dimension after the climatechange and bio-energy started impacting the overall performance of agriculture and food security. He said that the agriculture policy of the government was aimed at enhancing farm profitability and competitiveness through realizing the existing productivity potential of crop and livestock sector. Gondal said that the agriculture credit, which is the lifeline of the rural sector, has been jacked up from Rs.200 billion to Rs.250 billion, adding that the government also introduced a Crop Insurance Scheme to support small landowners. He said that the government has started Special Program for Food Security and Productivity Enhancement of Small Farmers', covering 13,000 villages by the year 2015, starting with 1,012 villages in all the four provinces and other areas.      "The programme aims to enhance crop productivity of small farmers at the village level and support them start income generation activities in the areas of livestock, fisheries and addition of crop and livestock products coupled with improved market. The MINFAL secretary said that climate change has mostly effected small farmers, fishers and forest dependent people, adding that the global food prices has affected the poor. He said that government was well aware about the climate change and has taken several initiatives to cope with its challenges. He said that there were several factors responsible for less productivity, saying that two-third of the water was being not used properly while only 16 percent quality seed was available in Pakistan. He also urged upon the western government to scale down the subsidy to their farmers for the better interests of farmers of Asian countries. In his keynote address, Chairman PARC said that although food security was a big challenge, however, great difficulties also provide great opportunities, adding that the challenges could be overcome with hard work and changing paradigms, methodologies and techniques. Messages of President and Prime Minister were also read on the occasion, while the representatives of FAO, WFP and UN Resident Coordinator also read messages of their respective heads. On the occasion, awards were given to best performing scientists, including Niaz Ahmed Chaudhry and Syed Mehfooz Ali Shah while cash prizes were distributed among best performing progressive farmers and best essay writer students of various institutions. He said that this was the high time to enhance agriculture production and value addition of products to meet the increasing demands.