Pakistan has initiated a significant project to transform vast expanses of uncultivated waste state land into productive farmland to tackle food insecurity challenges. Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif inaugurated the Land Information and Management System – Center of Excellence, signaling the country’s commitment to enhancing food security and agricultural productivity.
Converting Uncultivated Land: By implementing Modern Agri Technologies, Pakistan aims to convert approximately 4.4 million hectares (10.9 million acres) out of 9 million hectares of uncultivated land into cultivable productive land. The project will leverage innovative technologies and sustainable precision agricultural practices, considering the agroecological potential of the land. This ambitious endeavor seeks to optimize agricultural production, prioritize the well-being of rural communities, and preserve the environment.
Food Insecurity Challenges: Pakistan’s economy heavily relies on agriculture, with the sector contributing 23% to the GDP and employing nearly 37.4% of the nation’s labor force. However, the area under cultivation has been shrinking, exacerbating the population-production gap. The country’s heavy dependence on agriculture-related imports, which have surpassed $10 billion, adds economic strain. Official documents from the project highlight the pressing need for action to address food insecurity, as 36.9% of Pakistanis are currently classified as food insecure, with 18.3% facing severe food crises.
The Importance of the Project: The project’s official documents reveal the gravity of the situation, with a wheat crisis looming due to a significant shortfall in production. While the total wheat demand stands at 30.8 million metric tons (MMT), current production only reaches 26.4 MMT, resulting in a deficit of nearly 4 MM. Additionally, cotton production has plummeted by 40% over the past decade. This ambitious initiative will be crucial in addressing these challenges, as the government, in collaboration with the armed forces, aims to unlock the potential of more than 9 million hectares of uncultivated waste state land across multiple phases.
Conclusion: Pakistan’s launch of the Land Information and Management System – Center of Excellence demonstrates a strong commitment to combatting food insecurity by utilizing innovative technologies and sustainable agricultural practices. The project’s goal to convert uncultivated land into productive farmland holds immense potential for enhancing food production, bridging the population-production gap, and boosting the overall economy. With the implementation of this ambitious initiative, Pakistan takes a significant step toward securing a more sustainable and food-secure future for its citizens.