FAO in Pakistan

Press Release - Farmers gathered from across Pakistan to share their innovations, successes and way forward to boost agriculture sector


Islamabad, 11 March 2015- The Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) of the United Nations in
collaboration with the Pakistan Agriculture Research Council (PARC) organized a two-days AAN Share
Mela- Farmer’s Alumni Association Network (AAN meaning ‘dignity’) in Islamabad. About 200 Farmers
from Azad Jammu and Kashmir, Balochistan, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Punjab and Sindh provinces
participated in the event. These farmers have strong association with FAO during last 20 years and
continue to do innovative leadership in their own communities. The Farmer representatives presented
their experiences and innovations in a Farmer-to Farmer forum, followed by interactions from private
sector provider of services and goods. An exhibition displaying agriculture and finished products was
established which has farmer’s pavilions from all over Pakistan.

While addressing the participants, the Federal Minister of National Food Security and Research, H.E.
Sikandar Hayat Bosan thanked farmers, foreign dignitaries, government officials, researchers and
academia for their participation in the Farmer’s Mela. He said that “agriculture is directly related to food
security and the world would become peaceful if this issue is resolved”.

Inaugurating FAO Publication “Women in Agriculture in Pakistan”, Mr. Bosan said that “recommendations
from the publication focus on the means of enhancing economic impact of women’s work in agriculture,
the value of promoting socio-cultural factors, policy and institutional strategies to promote incomegenerating
activities for rural women farmers. In line with the federal government’s policy, the Ministry of
National Food Security and Research will continue to support agriculture development in order to
recognise and promote the economic role of rural women in agriculture”.

In his remarks, FAO Country Representative Patrick T. Evans appreciated farmer’s interest in the event and
sharing of their experiences. He said that “ensuring global food security is the priority of FAO. As per FAO
2013 report on Food Insecurity in the World, around 842 million people, or about one in eight people in
the world, suffer from chronic hunger, and were not getting enough food to conduct an active life. Among
different dimensions of food security, poverty plays an important role in decreasing access to food in
economic terms. Country-level results suggest that poor dietary quality is often associated with poor
utilization outcomes, in particular with high stunting rates, i.e., 43 % in Pakistan. Strong efforts are needed
to improve household food security and access to more diverse and nutritious food”.

He further said that “one of the reasons that the agriculture sector in Pakistan is underperforming, is that
women do not have equal access to resources and opportunities. It highlights the need to empower
women in agriculture to reduce extreme poverty and gender discrimination”.

For further information and media contact:
Mahira Afzal, Communication Officer, FAO Pakistan. +92(0)0346-8544197, [email protected],