LAHORE: Federation of Pakistan Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FPCCI) Regional Chairman and Vice President Chaudhry Arfan Yousaf said on Sunday that food security is important to ensure durable development in South Asia.
According to FPCCI spokesperson, addressing the sixth three-day South Asia Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC) Business Leader Conclave, Yousaf said practical measures should be taken to create a single production-based market, adding that a greater focus on the agriculture sector of SAARC countries was the need of the hour to improve the international status of the region.
He suggested that SAARC member states should adopt new technologies and mutually exchange germ plasma, which would not only enhance their agricultural productivity but also improve the export system.
Yousaf further said that food deficiency in the region had long been affecting 40 per cent of children and called for corrective measures. He said it was time to shift the focus from ‘Green Revolution’ to ‘Evergreen Revolution’.
The FPCCI regional chairman said that all the SAARC countries would have to set aside their mutual differences to achieve agricultural targets, adding, “We need support from all the member states for the alleviation of poverty. It would help us prove our importance on the global level.”
He also said that since the start of the 1990s, SAARC had taken a number of steps for regional economic coordination, and in this connection, the role of South Asian Preferential Trade Agreement (SAPTA), South Asia Free Trade Area (SAFTA), and the recently established SAARC Agreement on Trade in Services (SATIS) was highly commendable.
Yousaf emphasised that all SAARC countries must make joint and collaborative efforts to cope with bigger regional challenges of water scarcity, food insecurity, and agricultural growth.