The issue of food safety is emerging as a huge crisis on the international level. This year, the Food and Agriculture Organisation of the United Nations is encouraging everyone to consider the importance of the food system in our lives, and how we can make it stronger.

The Pakistan Bureau of Statistics (PBS) has released the key findings of the Household Integrated Economic Survey (HIES), 2018-19 which reveals that 16% of the population is experiencing moderate or severe food insecurity. This is indeed a very alarming situation for the country where the issue of food security has remained a subject of conceptual debate in the development of Pakistan. As a result, the vulnerability to food insecurity and hunger remains a threat to the nation.

This issue can only be resolved once we introduce new techniques and empower our farmers and facilitate them with modern machinery so that they can produce good quality of food. Our government is very keen on improving the standard of farmers, which is a very positive sign.

However, if the government should issue licenses to the food industry on strict compliance and ensure that they follow the standards set by PSQCA and other food authorities with basic health rules, there should be random inspection on periodic basis, and those producing low quality and unhealthy food should be given strict punishment and their licenses cancelled.

MUHAMMAD ROHAIL HASSAN,

Karachi.