PESHAWAR: As part of World Food Day 2023 celebrations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) of the United Nations (FAO) KP Office in collaboration with PepsiCo Pakistan, a leading global food and beverage corporation, hosted a cross-sectoral panel discussion at University of Agriculture in Peshawar. The panel discussion focused on the Living Indus Initiative, highlighting the theme, “Water is life, Water is food. Leave no one behind,” aiming to raise awareness about food security, sustainable agriculture, and the fight against global hunger and poverty. Senior representatives from World Food Programme, UN Women, PepsiCo, and the Government of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, as well as academics, were in attendance.
This theme harmoniously aligns with the goals of the Living Indus Initiative, a collaborative venture between the Government of Pakistan and UN agencies, dedicated to repairing and restoring the ecological health of the Indus River Basin, especially in the face of pressing climate challenge.
Mr. Farrukh Toirov, FAO’s Head of Office in KP, highlighted the nexus between the mighty Indus River and the region’s agricultural prospects. He emphasized the importance of water for agriculture and food security. He stressed the need for responsible and efficient water management to support sustainable agriculture through initiatives like the Living Indus Initiative. This approach helps build resilience in the face of climate challenges and ensures access to balanced and nutritious food for all.
Haseeb Malik, Director of Agriculture Operations at PepsiCo Pakistan, discussed the company’s efforts in the panel. He focused on restoring the Indus Basin, promoting sustainable agriculture, and supporting farming communities, particularly women. Malik highlighted PepsiCo Pakistan’s commitment to sustainable water management, equipping farmers with knowledge and technology for sustainable water use. He also mentioned their dedication to water conservation in company operations and communities. He also added that the scope of the Living Indus Initiative aligns with PepsiCo’s global pep+ (PepsiCo Positive) sustainability agenda and aspirations for creating a more resilient agricultural system that benefits both people and the planet. Dr Rizwan Ahmed Registrar Agriculture University Peshawar moderated the panel discussion. While other panelist included, Dr Abdul Bari, DG Agriculture Research, Government of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Dr. Jan Mohammad, Director General, Agriculture Extension and Zainab Qaiser Khan, Head of UN Women, Sub Office in KP and Louis Sowe, World Food Programme (WFP) Head in KP. They highlighted critical issues that held the key to Pakistan’s in particular Khyber Pakhtunkhwa’s agricultural future. Panelists also discussed ensuring equitable water access for small farmers, sustainable farming practices championed by women for food security, battling climate change for agricultural resilience, and empowering women and youth for inclusive agriculture. By bringing together diverse perspectives and innovative ideas, this panel discussion aimed to chart a path towards a more resilient and inclusive agricultural landscape in Pakistan.