No threat to Pakistan’s food supply: Gondal


ISLAMABAD: Pakistan emerges as one of the safest countries where the production of main food crops remains much more than the consumption, a senior government official said on Thursday.

“Pakistan is the safest country in the world as far as food security is concerned,” said Nazar Mohammad Gondal, Minister for Food and Agriculture at a press conference.

He termed the reports of International Federation of Red Cross (IFRC) and Red Crescent Societies ridiculous and far from the facts, which claims Pakistan among the countries vulnerable to food security.

A few days ago, the President of the IFRC, Tadateru Konoe, warned that food insecurity caused by devastating floods in Pakistan could eventually lead to social unrest similar to that seen in Tunisia.

“The analysts should go through facts and figures before giving analysis,” said Gondal.

He said that the production of main foods, including wheat, rice, gram pulse, potato, sugar, maize, tomatoes and milk is in surplus so there is no question of food shortage in the country. Giving break-up, the minister said that the country is having surplus wheat crop and is exporting the additional stocks.

Similarly, he said, production of potatoes has been 3.5 million tons against the consumption of 1.5 million tons. The production of gram stood at 561,000 tons against the consumption of 550,000 tons, the minister said, adding that the production of milk is 43.56 million tons against the consumption of 35.2 million tons.

Tomatoes production is also 5.5 million tons against the consumption of 3.5 million tons, said Gondal. There is also surplus in rice and sugar production so there is no question of the country being vulnerable to food security, he said.

The flood did not cause any major destruction to wheat stocks, the minister said, adding that around 120,000 tons of wheat stocks were destroyed in Sindh due to floods, however, not even a single grain was wasted in the stocks of federal government.

He said that even the government is exporting two to three million tons of surplus wheat and around 0.2 million tons of the crops had already been exported.

To a question regarding inquiry into the sugar crisis, he accepted that it was engineered and said investigation was underway to sort it out.

He said the country would be self-sufficient in sugar next year and there would be no need to import sugar.

The sugar consumption in the country stood at 4.2 million tons and the production would be more than that, he claimed.

However, on the issue of prices, the federal minister said that international prices could not be de-linked, while determining sugar prices at the local level.

Gondal said that the government is providing targeted subsidy to the vulnerable groups and the consumers also get benefit of reduced prices of daily-use items through the Utility Stores Corporation.

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One Response to “No threat to Pakistan’s food supply: Gondal”

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