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ISLAMABAD: The government is developing strategies to uplift the agriculture sector and boost rural economy to minimise rural to urban migration, Minister for National Food Security, Sikandar Hayat Khan Bosan said on Monday.
Speaking at a World Food Day event at the National Agriculture Research Centre, Mr Bosan said the Ministry for National Food Security is prioritising promotion of crop diversification, value-addition, agricultural mechanisation and establishment of small and medium development projects in agribusiness.
Due to increasing rural to urban migration, the agriculture sector of Pakistan is losing out on skilled manpower, he said.
The minister acknowledged that most of the labour force that migrated to cities remained highly food secure.
Improvement of infrastructure in rural areas as well as job creation and business opportunities can help in maintaining the rural-urban migration within the desirable limits, he stressed.
Speaking on the occasion, FAO Representative in Pakistan, Mina Dowlatchahi said the UN body supports countries to invest in livelihoods and build more resilient rural communities. This way, rural people can have the option to remain on their land, or to leave if they want to, the FOA representative added.
Country representative of World Food Programme, Finbarr Curran said the organisation was actively engaged with the government to improve food and nutrition security in the country.
“Ending hunger will require investments in agriculture, rural development, nutrition, social protection and gender equality,” he said.
Stating that migration from rural to urban areas is increasing in the country, Pakistan Agricultural Research Council Chairman, Dr Yusuf Zafar noted that developing disparity between rural and urban areas was impacting the poor rural population in terms of their right to have basic and healthful food.