December 20, 2018: The Ministry of National Food Security and Research and Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations on Thursday singed a five years “Agriculture programming framework 2018-19” agreement for achieving its set targets of agriculture and livestock development.
The other objective of the agreement is to strengthen the efforts of the government to achieve the set targets of zero hunger programme, sustainable environment friendly agriculture and evolving effective agriculture as well as food system.
The FAO and Food Security Ministry also launched “Risk Based Control of Foot and Mouth Disease”, a national initiative for eliminating the foot and mouth disease in the country to promote and develop the livestock sector.
The agreement would help to address all five components which are essential for controlling the foot and mouth disease, besides strengthening the diagnosis in selected laboratories in all province and administered units of the country.
Minister for National Food Security and Research Sahibzada Mehboob Sultan and FAO Country Representative Mina Dowlatchi signed the agreement on behalf of their respective organizations at a ceremony held here.
Addressing the agreement signing ceremony, Minister for National Food Security and Research said that foot and mouth disease is the most prevalent and economically and drastic disease of livestock in the country.
He said that the estimated economic losses incurred to the national economy in terms of reduction of milk production, mortality in calves, loss in body conditions were estimated at about US $692 million annually and restricts from meat exports.
Therefore, he said that foot and mouth disease must be eliminated for development of milk and meat production in the country, adding that the project would facilitate development of model animal health legal framework both the federal and provincial level to address the issues and modernizing import and export regimes.
Sahibzada Mehboob Sultan said that this initiative was built on six-year experience of the ministry working in close collaboration with FAO and various other projects funded by Government of Italy, USA and Japan.
The minister reaffirmed the government's resolve for taking all possible measures for developing of agriculture and livestock sectors to benefit the small scale growers which would open new horizons of meat and meat products exports.
The government, he said would provide full support and cooperation to all the stakeholders including FAO and other development partners as well as provincial governments for the development of agriculture sector.
Speaking on the occasion, Country Representative of FAO, Mina Dowlatchahi, said that her organization would continue its support for the development of agriculture and livestock sectors in Pakistan to help in reducing poverty from the rural areas.
She said that country programming framework is centered on the priority areas including zero hunger by providing healthy, safe and nutrient food for all, climate smart agriculture, sustainable ecosystem, forests, fisheries and water management.
An inclusive and efficient agriculture is also among the priority areas under the programme with the help of government and other partners, she said.