ISLAMABAD — South Asia, being the hot spot for the future, will face increase of food demand due to its demographic growth and changing lifestyles, said participants of a three-day international workshop jointly organised by the Centre for Climate Research & Development Comsats University, Islamabad and the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research, Germany in Islamabad.
Scientists from leading institutes from Europe and South Asian countries, international non-governmental organisations, think tanks and research organisations in-depth deliberated on ensuring food security in the region where already around 300 million people are undernourished, resulting in the largest numbers of food-insecure persons in the sub-continent.
German Ambassador to Pakistan Martin Kobler, while inaugurating the workshop said, “Without concerted efforts by all the region’s stakeholders, it would not be possible to tackle the already mounting regional food security issue.” He emphasised technology transfer by the developed countries and engagement of women in research as need of the hour to combat the problem.
Comsats University Rector Professor Dr Raheel Qamar who was the chief guest at the event, addressed the workshop’s participants and stressed the need to build strong collaborations both at institutional and country level between the developed and developing world.
Presenting Food & Agriculture Organisation’s (FAO) approach to Water-Energy-Food Security Nexus, FAP Representative in Pakistan Minà Dowlatchahi said, “Understanding and managing the complex interactions between water, energy and food security is essential to cope with changing climate and for achieving the Sustainable Development Goals. The FAO approach to the Water-Energy-Food Nexus describes the complex and inter-related nature of our global resources systems with social, economic and environmental goals.
Uptake of new technologies, changes in agricultural and water management practices by small holder farmers with concurrent actions to help conserve natural resources and protect our eco-systems will pave the way towards food security and the eradication of malnutrition in all its forms,”
The workshop recommended that research funding, on climate change monitoring and adaptation, may be enhanced to minimize the adversities of changing climate on agriculture. Moreover, efficient climate smart alternate crops/ technologies must be introduced / fine-tuned taking care of biodiversity, sustainability and profitability.