The United Nations Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) is embarking on an ambitious journey to transform Pakistan’s agriculture landscape with the launch of 40 diverse projects strategically positioned across the nation. These initiatives, highlighted in an exclusive interview with FAO representatives Florence Rolle and Dr. Aamer Irshad, underscore the organisation’s unwavering commitment to bolstering agriculture and food security in the country.
With a comprehensive approach, the FAO aims to enhance agricultural productivity, ensure sustainability, support livestock and fisheries development, and implement food security programs to alleviate hunger and malnutrition. In a panel interview with the Associated Press of Pakistan (APP), Rolle and Irshad detailed the FAO’s priorities for 2023–2027, focusing on critical aspects such as food availability, climate-responsive planning, and improvement of agricultural value chains.
Importantly, the FAO’s involvement extends beyond traditional agricultural support. The organisation actively engages in sustainable natural resource management, provides humanitarian assistance during emergencies, and collaborates closely with the Pakistani government on policy development. Through the Living Indus initiative, the FAO is addressing threats to the Indus basin, emphasising the pivotal role of mass involvement, particularly among the youth, in mobilising support and creating awareness.
Rolle highlighted the significance of attracting educated youth to the agriculture sector, emphasising the industry’s evolution toward precision farming, digital technologies, and research-based practices. Despite challenges faced by smallholder farmers, the FAO proposes a comprehensive plan involving specialised education, financial incentives, rural infrastructure improvement, awareness campaigns, and technology adoption to make agriculture more attractive to the younger generation.
As the FAO spearheads initiatives in Pakistan, its holistic approach aims to revolutionise the agriculture sector, contributing significantly to the achievement of Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and fostering a positive transformation in Pakistan’s agricultural future.