Locusts attack the agricultural lands across the country, especially Punjab and Sindh
Pakistan may face severe food shortage in the 2020. This is due to locusts attacking the agricultural fields in parts of Punjab and Sindh. The rising food emergency may result in a major crisis with non availability of essential food items by the year end.
Pakistan is an agrarian economy and the news may result in large scale increase in poverty also. The agricultural sector sustains the livelihoods of 45 percent of Pakistan’s population. In particular, wheat production is a mainstay of the country’s food security. It has 24 million tonnes of wheat produced in 2010. Rice production has also doubled since 1980 and is now one of the country’s major export crops.
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Fighting Food Security
Despite the growth in production of staple crops, Pakistan has experienced a sharp decline in food security in recent years. This is due to a combination of militant activity, natural disaster, and economic instability. In 2010, the country experienced its worst natural disaster in decades when flooding submerged almost one-fifth of the country’s landmass. The floods destroyed infrastructure, left almost 20 million people without access to food, clean water, and health services. It severely damaged the country’s agricultural sector. The food insecure population rose from 38 percent of the total population to 50 percent (83 million people) between 2003 and 2009; it is estimated that this number has risen further to 90 million people in the aftermath of the 2010 floods.
Pakistan’s rural population faces particular challenges, with two-thirds of the total population and 80 percent of the poor population living in rural areas. Poverty is particularly widespread in the country’s many mountainous areas where communities, and ecological fragility make agricultural production difficult and where a lack of access to markets and services contribute to widespread chronic poverty.
As the country battles corona virus, this new challenge may create further problems. The locusts attack makes the entire produce of agricultural lands void. It omits all production of wheat, rice, the fruits and vegetables. Thus, Pakistan may face severe food shortage in the 2020.