Report reveals $4b worth of food wasted in Pakistan each year

The majority of food items are excluded from the supply line and wasted for various reasons…reports Asian Lite News

A shocking report has revealed that Pakistan yearly wastes food worth USD four billion, ARY News reported on Tuesday.

As per the report by Pakistan’s Ministry of National Food Security and Research, Pakistan wastes 26 per cent of its food production i.e., 19.6 million tonnes yearly, the report revealed. The report further revealed that most food items are wasted for not meeting the criteria of appearance, size and colour despite the steps to ensure food security.

The majority of food items are excluded from the supply line and wasted for various reasons, the report of the Ministry of National Food Security and Research says, according to ARY News.

The report also highlighted that the majority of food items stored in kitchens are also wasted yearly after the expiry date.

Pakistan despite being an agricultural country, is facing a shortage of food items, especially after the recent floods and heavy rain.

Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif earlier directed to expedite the implementation of the Kissan Package.

He was chairing a review meeting on the historic Kissan Package given by the government for the development of the agricultural sector, in Islamabad.

The prime minister said that we have to ensure food security in Pakistan at all costs. He said the development of the agriculture sector is the guarantor of food security in Pakistan, according to ARY News.

PKR 20b embezzlement claim

There has been Rs 20 billion embezzlement from Pakistan’s federal government’s free flour distribution scheme, former Prime Minister and Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) senior leader Shahid Khaqan Abbasi claimed, according to Geo News.

While addressing the ceremony in Lahore, Abbasi claimed that over Rs 20 billion were stolen in the government’s free flour scheme. He also said that Pakistan’s system has become “so corrupt and outdated” that it cannot deliver.

He said corrupt government officials would be identified in the past “but today is the time when we have to look for honest officers”.

At the ceremony, Abbasi asked what poor people get from the Rs 84 billion subsidy that the government has allocated to provide free flour to the poor during the holy month of Ramazan.

Responding to his allegations, the Centre and the caretaker government of Punjab rejected his claims, reported Geo News.

Federal Information Minister Marriyum Aurangzeb said millions of poor people in Punjab, Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa, Sindh and Islamabad were provided free flour during the holy month with “full transparency and honesty”.

She said that Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif visited the flour distribution points in different cities.

Meanwhile, Punjab caretaker Information Minister Amir Mir also rejected Abbasi’s allegation saying not even a single penny of corruption took place in the free flour scheme, Geo News reported.

The free flour scheme was a ray of hope for the poor people. A large number of underprivileged people across Pakistan, who are not able to afford necessary food items due to rising inflation, are forced to queue for hours to grab a bag of free flour. It is chaos all across the country, as residents are not only facing disgrace but a danger to their lives.

The poor people, in the hope to get free flour, have actually fought for their lives. In a horrific video shared last month by a UK-based person, Faran Jeffery, hundreds were seen hanging from a wheat flour-carrying truck with many others chasing it. Also seen was how a child attempting to get near it narrowly escaped from being run over by the vehicle, reported The Pakistan Military Monitor (PMM).

Several deaths have also been reported to have occurred due to the struggle of poor people for the humble grain. This includes deaths during stampedes in the queues at government distribution points for the poor, reported PMM. (ANI)

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