Food security is about making food available, accessible and useable for everybody at all times. Today over 2 billion people do not have regular access to safe, nutritious and sufficient food. Moreover, 820 million go to bed hungry every day. This problem not only affects the low and middle-income countries but also in high-income countries too many children suffer from low birth weight and stunted growth.

The climate is changing, deserts are expanding and sea levels are rising. Our arable land is being degraded, rainforests are dying and destroying biodiversity. Freshwater is becoming scarce and soils are rendered less fertile. Industrial exploitation poisons our seas and rivers. Our food systems are broken and unless aggressive actions are taken soon, humanity is at grave risk of seeing a continued rise in the rate of hunger.

To fix our food system, we must work together. Our actions must be focused on collaborations, stretching across borders and from agriculture, food, health and water to education, social protection and economic policies. It is important to select beneficial traits and reclaim natural variation in our crops. We should improve the methods to target resistance and defence against pests and diseases. We can advance agriculture through genomics and phenomics.

Few people are choosing farming as an occupation. It is important to promote local agriculture. Living and working in the countryside needs to be attractive. The government needs to invest in rural development programs. Countries need to integrate food security and nutrition into broader efforts to reduce poverty and gender inequality.

SAAD UR REHMAN MALIK,

Bahawalpur.