Pakistan (Muhammad Yasir)
A high-powered policy dialogue titled “Climate-Smart Agriculture and Food Security: Challenges & Way Forward for Pakistan” was organized by Syngenta Pakistan and Pakistan Institute of Parliamentary Services (PIPS) on 7th March, 2023 in Islamabad. With the objectives of highlighting the key challenges facing the food security of the country and identifying viable solutions to mitigate these challenges in the context of climate change, the session brought together key stakeholders from public, private, development and academic sectors including members of the parliament, and representatives from UN FAO, ADB, PMAS Arid Agriculture University Rawalpindi and Quaid-e-Azam University Islamabad who stressed the need for a collective action plan to deal with the rising food insecurity and to promote climate smart and regenerative agriculture in the country to counter the impacts of climate change.
Honourable Speaker National Assembly, Mr. Raja Pervaiz Ashraf, graced the occasion as the Chief Guest and stated that “Pakistan has become highly vulnerable to climate change, and not because of our own doing, which is manifested in the form of recent super floods which had wreaked havoc on our agriculture. It is essential that we protect our agriculture against climatic shifts and utilize sustainable practices to improve our climate resilience. We are at the turning point of our history. It is through persistence and resilience that we will overcome all the changes that our nation is currently facing.”
Senator Seemi Ezdi (Chairperson Senate’s Standing Committee on Climate Change) was of the view that “Women in Agriculture have an important role to play in ensuring the food security of the country. Most of the labor force in the agriculture sector constitutes of women workers. While it gives us a food for thought to upskill the female labor force in agriculture, it also is an indication of promoting more female farmers who are equipped with the latest technologies for dealing with climate change and productivity issues.
Dr Shahida Rehmani MNA appreciated the timely initiative by the Pakistan Institute for Parliamentary Services and Syngenta Pakistan and she expressed the hope that: Certainly, the report of the Roundtable will help committees in Parliament to advocate and oversee national policy-making on climate smart agriculture.
The participants emphasized the need for coordinated efforts to deal with the overlapping crises of climate-change, food-insecurity, water-scarcity and rising temperatures in the country. They appreciated the policy dialogue which not only contributed as a point of reference for valuable discourse on climate-action, but also helped in improving their understanding around the concepts of ‘climate-smart agriculture’, the nexus between climate-change, food-security and sustainable-agriculture.