ISLAMABAD - The Pakistan Economy Watch (PEW) on Tuesday asked the government to take serious steps to ensure food security in the country as an international food crisis can engulf the world soon. America, one of the major global exporters of food, has been facing the worst drought since 1956, which has reduced output of wheat, corn, Soya bean etc. pushing their prices to new heights, it said. Prices of commodities have surpassed the peaks of the 2007-08 crises that sparked food riots in more than 30 countries, said PEW President Dr Murtaza Mughal. He said that crisis in 2007-08 was a result of speculation which is real currently, calling for enhanced focus on agriculture. This is not a local problem that Americans are facing, he said, adding that the impact of the crisis would be felt across the globe. Dr Murtaza Mughal said that vulnerable and the poor would be hardest hit who spend as much as 60 to 75 per cent of their income on food.He said that situation at home is far from encouraging; flawed policies have left almost all the federal and provincial departments related to agriculture as dysfunctional. Dr Murtaza Mughal said the system of calculating food and input requirements, projections, targets, coordination etc. has ended with the demise of Federal Committee on Agriculture and now market forces are deciding everything. He added this is the reason behind skyrocketing prices as mechanism of timely imports does not exist anymore. The government should take steps to undo blunders done in the name of the 18th Amendment. It should convene an emergency meeting of all stakeholders to discuss the implications of the crisis. The matter should not be taken lightly as during the last crisis 30 countries witnessed food riots while many governments were sent packing.