Adaptation of agri sector to climate change a challenge for Pakistan: Minister

November 18, 2022

Pakistan is presented with a challenge to adapt its agricultural sector against the threat of climate change to ensure food security and economic growth in the future. The statement was made by the Minister for Planning, Development, and Special Initiatives, Ahsan Iqbal, while giving a presentation titled “Pakistan Floods 2022, Resilient Recovery, Rehabilitation, and Reconstruction Strategy” at Pakistan Pavilion in the Conference of the Parties-27 (COP-27) in Sharm El-Sheikh, Egypt, according to a press statement issued by the Planning Ministry.

Ahsan Iqbal said that our biggest challenge right now is to transform our agricultural practices in a way that our crops can withstand the negative effects of a changing climate. We can build dams and infrastructure to withstand floods and natural disasters but if our agriculture is not adapted to the changing needs of the climate, it will negatively impact our productivity and food security.

He said, “our government will work on the development of seeds and practices which will ensure protection against the vagaries of a threatening climate. Extreme weather conditions like heatwaves, colds, rainfalls and droughts require a research-based response from all the stakeholders.” He added, “we will work with all the relevant departments, agencies and international partners to build resilience in infrastructure, communities and our institutions.”

Ahsan Iqbal said that the reality of climate change is more evident than ever since the 220 million people of Pakistan have directly or indirectly suffered the effects of the recent floods. Pakistan has to face 600-900% more rains against all the weather projections which tells of a coming drought.

He said that in Pakistan those regions are the worst hit which are already the poorest according to the UNDP poverty index. He informed the audience that Pakistan’s National Flood Response and Coordination Center has assessed, with help from international partners, that the total direct damage caused by the floods is almost worth USD15 billion, with another USD15 billion of losses incurred in productivity loss, livestock, food, water resources irrigation, commercial, industrial, and financial sectors.

In Balochistan, he said, all dams that have been built over the last 20 years have been washed away due to the floods, while in Sindh millions of people are still living under the skies. He shared with the audience that 33 million people have been affected in total, 8 million people displaced, and 1,729 people lost their lives out of which one-third are children.

He said, “loss to the GDP will be 2.2% of its projected amount in the fiscal year 2022-23. The agriculture sector will sustain most of the losses to the tune of 0.9% of GDP. Around 9 million people have been pushed below the poverty line, 7.8 million people are facing food insecurity and around 4.3 million people have lost their jobs and livelihoods.”


Credit : Independent News Pakistan-WealthPk