STAFF REPORT IBD: Environment, agriculture and media experts at a workshop have called for making joint efforts to bring land reforms, ensure food security and halt onslaught of corporate farming in the country by taking all stakeholders on board.

“The government should change its outdated mindset and come forward with a positive and farmers-friendly approach to redistribute land among peasants and provide financial backup aid to them for growing crops so that they could get their livelihood peacefully,” the experts said while speaking at a recently held capacity building workshop for media persons, land reforms, food security and poverty.

“Agriculture is the mainstay of the Pakistan economy, accounting for 25 per cent of GDP, 60 per cent of export earnings and 48 per cent of employment,” said Tanveer Arif, the CEO of SCOPE, in his presentation on land reforms. He said that poverty and food security issues are closely linked to land and that was why the International Land Coalition was formed.

“We are working on benefits and losses of corporate sector. Food and fuel prices are rising worldwide and they have become a global issue, causing agriculture crisis. Climate change is also affecting agriculture sector,” he observed.

He said that Pakistan inherited feudal system from British Raja. Land distribution in Pakistan is highly unequal as 5 per cent of large landholders possess 64 per cent of total farm land and 65 per cent small farmers hold 15 per cent of land.

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