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Prime Minister Imran Khan proposes 5-point agenda to improve agricultural sectors in developing countries

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Prime Minister Imran Khan addressing the International Fund for Agricultural Development in Italy, February 17, 2020. ifad.org Prime Minister Imran Khan addressing the session of the Board of Directors of the International Fund for Agricultural Development Prime Minister says the world needs a revolution and a vision for the future A two-day session will focus on the overarching theme “Rural development: a prerequisite for global resilience

Prime Minister Imran Khan once again called on the developed world to realize that the poorest economies are struggling even harder now in a world hit by the coronavirus and will require a “revolution and a vision for the future”.

“We need a revolution and a vision for the future. The COVID-19 pandemic and the climate crisis should send the message to all rich and poor and weak or powerful that we will perish or survive together,” said the Prime Minister, while addressing the 44th session of the Board of Directors of the International Fund for Agricultural Development.

The conference, which will take place on February 17-18, 2021, will focus on the general theme “Rural development: a prerequisite for global resilience,” IFAD said.

Prime Minister Imran Khan, addressing the conference, said more than 20 countries are food insecure. The World Food Program has warned of famine in the world’s poorest countries and in areas of conflict.

He said the world faces multiple challenges to recover from the pandemic and achieve vital sustainable development goals without poverty and hunger.

There is a lack of financing, a shortage of investments, trade distortions, unsustainable consumption patterns, degradation of agricultural land and forests, a looming water crisis, loss of biodiversity and rivers and polluted oceans, he said.

Prime Minister Imran Khan noted that concepts of geostrategic adversaries of regional or global domination, political advantages of foreign intervention and occupation, and oppression of people are outdated and will soon be considered irrelevant.

We need a common global plan for the survival and prosperity of all mankind, the prime minister said, adding that he proposed a debt suspension program last year.

The prime minister said global lenders have helped the developing world, but citing reports he said developing countries need $ 4.3 to recover from the pandemic and meet the SDGs.

Moving forward, the Prime Minister proposed a five-point agenda to pick up the developing world and help it recover from the pandemic.

First: as part of a sustainable agricultural infrastructure to facilitate the transport, production and distribution of agricultural products, the greenways put in place by China are a good example Second: governments, more actively, must guarantee prices adequate and fair trade for agricultural and food products. The so-called magic of the market must be counterbalanced by the hand of the state. Farmers should not be left at the mercy of cooperation and, at the same time, international agricultural trade should be streamlined Third: advanced technologies should be consciously applied to improve food production, ensure efficient use of water and land, and above all, improve the quality of seeds. Fourth: The adoption of digital technologies is as vital in agriculture as in other economic sectors. Ensuring internet and broadband access in rural areas will be vital to their international and global supply chains. Fifth: Most importantly, we need to rethink the way we consume and produce food. We can eat better, and many of us would do well to eat less.

“I propose that a new strategy for sustainable food production and consumption be considered and adopted at the Food System Summit next year,” he said.

The prime minister said Pakistan has prioritized the SDGs despite the pandemic. “We have prioritized SDGs 1 and 2: no poverty and zero hunger.”

He stressed that the Ehsaas program was helping the poor in the country who were affected by the pandemic and locusts.

“We are also engaged in one of the largest reforestation programs in the world; we plan to plant 10 billion trees over the next three years,” he said, adding that Pakistan would also set aside eight major areas as national reserves or parks.

Within the framework of the China-Pakistan economic corridor, the modernization of agriculture has been included as an essential element of our development strategy.

Pakistan’s efforts to promote sustainable development cannot bear fruit without international cooperation, the Prime Minister said in concluding his speech.

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