For the past few months, food prices around the world have risen dramatically and many are angry and fearful. This article in Pakistan’s “The Post” newspaper suggests that, for Pakistan at least, the government is to blame. Author Jawaid Imam argues that flour is being smuggled to Afghanistan where it can be sold for a higher price and that domestically the flour suppliers are selling flour privately rather than supplying the Utility Stores, where the poor can buy government-subsidized food. The government is turning a blind eye to these activities.
As Imam notes, farmers in countries like the USA, Brazil, and Argentina are profiting from the rising prices. He does not consider the plight of Pakistani farmers — when food prices are low, they must compete with foreign imports; when food prices are high, they are banned from exporting and profiting.
For me, the food crisis has made it clear that food security should be one of the top concerns of any nation. Hopefully when this crisis is over, Pakistan will take meaningful steps to help domestic farmers.
Article: Food crisis and Pakistan
Author: Jawaid Imam
Publication: The Post