Experts discusses affordable ways to address food security issues
ISLAMABAD: Over 140 academics from the United Kingdom, Pakistan and the region participated in the first workshop titled Food Security, Agriculture and Nutrition under the series of Global Development Workshops here calling for joint efforts to tackle the issues related to food security.
The workshop was part of the series of workshops being arranged by a UK-based charity UPSIGN (UK Pakistan Science Innovation Global Network (UPSIGN) in partnership with UK Research and Innovation (UKRI) in Pakistan from on March 9-12.
The workshops are aimed at addressing grand challenges linked to sustainable development in Food Systems, Healthcare and Energy/Water sectors in Pakistan and the region.
The activities will create and foster new relationships and develop new networks interested in solving development issues aligned with the UN sustainable development goals.
Monday's workshop focused on the issues related to food security and challenges faced by food production in Pakistan, e.g. development of system solutions to address malnutrition through maximized dietary diversity and quality.
The participants also discussed strategies to tackle the spread of diseases from livestock to humans (Zoonotic Disease) the overuse of antibiotics for livestock in Pakistan.
The workshop also explored the development of integrated pest management strategies for the control of insect pests of economic and health importance.
The participants also had discussions over micronutrient deficiencies, breeding resilient crops and livestock to meet the challenges of climate change, the emergence of invasive species of pests and disease etc, innovative solutions for practical issues related to food safety, mycotoxins, pesticides residues, steroids and antibiotic abuse, inadequate diagnostic.
The participants called for development of early detection systems for lethal pests and diseases to issue early warnings and implement a systematic framework to address threats posed by new species of pests and diseases.
The termed application of remote sensing, satellite guided technologies, use of genomics, hybrid technologies, use of drones, sensors, AI, machine learning and cloud computing as essential to cope with the challenges.
The Workshop lead Professor Tariq Butt said “these workshops will provide a good opportunity for experts to come together and contribute to food security but also improve human animal health”.
Dr Farooq Shah, an expert from the workshop said “The workshop offered an excellent opportunity to bring together expertise and knowledge from the UK and Pakistan to address food security challenges of Pakistan.
The workshop will strengthen existing research collaboration as well as help to develop multidisciplinary consortiums for future collaborative research projects.”
One of the participants, Prof. Waqas Wakil (University of Agriculture, Faisalabad) said “We thank UPSIGN and UKRI for organizing these workshops in Pakistan as these will help Pakistan research community and students in networking with the world leading researchers.
The complementary skills and expertise among the workshop participants will help to address key global challenges and UNSDGs”. - APP