ISLAMABAD - Twenty-three per cent land in Khyber Pukhtoonkhawa (KPK), particularly in the Swabi district, is encroached by the multi-national companies that grow tobacco on it, which had made the land barren.

This serious concern was expressed in the Farmers Convention on World Food Day, organized by Ministry of National Food Security and Research in collaboration with Oxfam, International Alert and AAHM-SCOPE, at National Agriculture Research Centre, Islamabad. The theme of the convention was ‘Healthy Food and its impact on Human Life.’

Farmers from all over the country participated in the programme and set up stalls of their product. The people show keen interest in the products, which were grown through organic farming. The food prepared for the guests was also produced through organic farming.

Secretary Ministry of National Food Security and Research Seerat Asghar Ali, who was the chief guest on the occasion, listened to the problems of the farmer community and assured them of full support. He said that the policy related to food security is placed on the ministry’s website so that everyone could give their input.

Tahira Khan, programme manger, AAHM-SCOPE, told this correspondent that the purpose of the convention is to highlight the importance of the healthy food.

She said the government should pay attention the problems of the farmers.

The farmer groups of Punjab, Sindh, KPK and Balochistan also presented various plays and shared their problems. The representative of Sindh farmers Muhammad Asghar complained that there is less water for the tail-enders. He said each year floods destroy their crops therefore demanded insurance of the crops.

Liaquat Ali, on behalf of KPK farmers, said that they have become slave at the hands of multi-national companies. The Punjab farmers stance was that small farmers should be included in the policy making process. They complained of no access to market therefore the middlemen or agents exploit them and buy their crop at low rates.