FAO in Pakistan

Fisheries action plan presented for public consultation in Sindh


Karachi 02/02/2021: The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations held a public  consultation workshop under the Sindh Agriculture Policy 2018-2030 to validate a proposed Fisheries Action Plan for Sindh province. The workshop was attended by Secretary Livestock and Fisheries, Director General Marine Fisheries, representatives of International Trade Centre, World Wildlife Fund, Pakistan Fisherfolk Forum, private fisheries businesses, seafood processors and exporters.
FAO Pakistan, through European Union-assisted Food Security and Nutrition Impact, Resilience, Sustainability and Transformation (FIRST) programme, is seeking to help deepen the dialogue between different sectors with a stake in food security, through its policy assistance service, supporting evidence-based decision making and analysis of proposed policy frameworks and action plans. In Sindh, it has helped build capacity of the government officials of the Livestock & Fisheries Department over 2019-2021 in formulating its action plan with a view to making the case for more targeted investment in the fisheries and aquaculture sector to meet modern requirements for quality, efficiency and profitability.
FAO Policy Officer Ms. Genevieve Hussain highlighted that the government is keen, through the policy, to create an efficient, prosperous and resilient food production sector that can provide good incomes and decent employment to those involved in fisheries and aquaculture sector, and at the same time provide safe and nutritious food to urban and rural populations. “Fisheries is indeed an industry where there are complex trade-offs between sustainability, growth, inclusion of smaller fisherfolk and conservation of natural resources” she said. Country and provincial governments need to arrive at compromises that meet the desires of different size fishing operations, nutritional needs of the people, and economic aspirations of the fishing communities.
Secretary Sindh Livestock & Fisheries Department, Mr. Aijaz Ahmed Mahesar, expressed appreciation for the efforts of FAO in both the formulation of policy and development of action plans under it, saying, “without an Action Plan there can be no budgetary allocation, so it is essential that we have this plan agreed and in place so that the policy is implemented properly”. The Government of Sindh will facilitate strategy by working with industry to restructure the sector and create a regulatory framework to encourage finance institutions and private sector to invest in fisheries and aquaculture and to adopt technological improvements along the value chain, he added. He further added that the Government of Sindh is strongly committed to the Sindh Agriculture Policy and wants to leverage public resources in a smart way to support the fisheries and aquaculture industries.   
FAO Fisheries Policy Specialist, Mr Khawar Parvez Awan, explained that the overall process of implementation of the Fisheries Action Plan and the corresponding plans for livestock, forestry and agriculture sectors will be overseen by the Sindh Agriculture Policy Implementation Commission (SAPIC) comprising concerned government institutions, farmers’ associations, private sector and academia and headed by the Minister of Agriculture, Supply and Prices, Sindh. The draft fisheries action plan was discussed today at length with the participants who actively articulated their considered views in plenary and group sessions. After today’s public consultation, the Fisheries Action Plan will be presented before Sindh Agriculture Policy Implementation Commission (SAPIC) for approval.