Food security is an area widely researched by development economists due to its numerous implications. It is simple to understand that hunger is behind so many problems of society, including illiteracy, political instability, crime and terrorism, as well as loss of labour productivity. It is appalling that despite tremendous advancement in technology and improved agriculture inputs, one billion people across the globe are still facing acute food insecurity. The widening economic inequality, together with poverty, has aggravated the problem of food scarcity and widespread malnutrition. At the international level, the prices of staple food have surged because of the conversion of maize and wheat into biofuel.
More importantly, climate change has adversely impacted upon agricultural productivity in many parts of the world.In Pakistan , agriculture accounts for about 21.2 percent of GDP and employs about 43 percent of the labour force. On the one hand, food insecurity and food inflation are pushing many people into hunger and malnutrition, and, on the other, adulterated food is causing diseases. The rising population and rapid urbanisation without the backing of effective state regulations have made property dealing the most profitable business in the country, even more than farming itself. Teal-estate tycoons are buying prime agricultural land at low prices and selling it at huge profits. In fact, the balance of power is shifting from the feudals to real estate magnates. In food-secure countries, prime agricultural land is considered a high-value asset for enhanced agricultural productivity. Such countries have proper land-use plans and laws, which do not permit the use of fertile land for residential and commercial purposes and vertical construction is encouraged.
In Pakistan , valuable agricultural land is rapidly being converted into residential colonies and despite the enormous problem of hunger and malnutrition, horizontal construction has become a way of life. Many orchards and farms have vanished. Without bearing in mind the impact of such policies on production of food, government agencies concerned freely issue NOCs in this regard. The environmental protection agencies are also playing the role of mere observers. The problem of food smuggling, which has increased tremendously over the past decade, worsens to food inflation still further and calls for an appropriate policy response. The problem of food inflation cannot be solved by the waving of some magic wand. An integrated approach is required by the recently formed ministry of food security for the solution of this problem. The state has an obligation to make food available to everyone. In other countries parliament and courts can get involved in matters concerning food security. The ministry of food security could do its duty of making a Pakistan food-secure country only by taking measures that produce results.