Food Minister contradicts FAO WFP reports

ISLAMABAD:Federal Minister for National Food Security and Research Chaudhary Tariq Bashir Cheema Wednesday contradicted reports of the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) and World Food Programme (WFP) regarding an acute shortage of food in Pakistan and said sufficient food stock was available to meet the country’s demand.

Responding to a calling attention notice in the National Assembly regarding the expected acute shortage of food in the country as reported by the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) and World Food Programme (WFP), he, said, “I fully disagreed with the reports of WFO and FAO and facts indicated in the reports have no reality and there is no need to worry.”

He said this year 28.5 million metric tons of wheat was recorded, along with the carry-over stock of the previous year.

He expressed confidence that there would be no need to import the commodity as the country had sufficient stock to cater the needs of population.

The government has planned to increase the annual edible oil production over the next 10 years in an effort to take the country towards self-sufficiency in food commodities, especially in edible oil.

He said that during the current season, the production of potatoes stood at 7.9 million tons.

“It is much better than the last year” he added.