Agriculture: Food Security and Environmental Sustainability

The increasing population needs serious efforts to fulfill the food requirements for which agriculture is always a mainstream tool to solve the food security issues. Looking at the global hunger index reports, food security is improving every decade and the percentage of hungry people is reducing. However, there is still an immense mountain that needs to be climbed up to feed the hungry people worldwide. Under the slogan of efforts to achieve zero hunger till 2030, it becomes again harder when you have many known and unknown challenges ahead. The progress in reducing hungry people has been slow down since last few years, which was further slowed due to COVID-19 impact. The global hunger index report of 2020 has stated that after 10 years about 37 countries will not be able to achieve the zero-hunger target with a very non-significant decrease in hunger. This is very alarming when many unknown challenges due to climate change are waiting ahead. In many countries, the total number of hungry people is even more than that in 2012, which is alarming as well as thought-provoking. 


Dr. Abdul Wakeel


At the end of 2020, about 690 million people were chronically hungry and further 135 million people were facing food insecurity at different levels. Malnourished people are in billions facing a lack of essential nutrients and/or facing obesity due to an imbalance in the diet. Under these circumstances and alarming circumstances, agriculture, and quality food production need serious attention to feed the huge populations in developing and poor countries which are dependent on local food production systems with poor resources. On the other hand, there are solemn concerns which are coming up as a threat to the environment. The emission of greenhouse gases such as CH4 and N2O is considered hazardous contributed by crop and livestock production. United Nations resolution for sustainable nitrogen (N) management is getting the attention of the global community which needs precise and sustainable agricultural practices to secure the food without affecting the environment. At the same time, the total food production with sufficient quality is a dire need of the day.

Climate change has compelled agricultural technologies towards digital data, weather warning systems, machine learning, remote sensing, etc. for precise agricultural productions. The use of dynamic mobile apps can lead the farmers of developing countries, who are mostly less educated and do not have direct access to real information, towards sustainable crop and livestock production. In Pakistan agriculture is the largest sector contributing to Pakistan’s economy although its GDP share is reducing in the last few years. Nevertheless, there is great potential to increase its share of the GDP of Pakistan. Therefore, precise agricultural practices, designed in the light of environmental protection and changing climate, are undoubtedly needed to make it more sustainable and profitable, especially for small and medium level farmers in Pakistan.

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