Pakistan: The agriculture sector of Pakistan contributes 18.9% to the GDP and employs 42.3% of the labour force, including women. The estimates suggested that half of the country’s population still resides in rural areas and is directly dependent on agriculture, including the production of wheat, cotton, sugarcane, rice, mangoes, dates and know. Yet, it faces a huge food crisis because of the rapidly growing population and insufficient food productivity.
Pakistan is currently at 92nd rank out of 116 nations in the Global Hunger Index. A report by IPCINFO, which conducted a survey in districts of Baluchistan, Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa and Sindh, highlighted that all these areas are facing a high prevalence of food insecurity, malnutrition and poverty.
As per the reports, the 2022 floods in Punjab worsened the situation, as one-third of the country went underwater, caused 1,700 casualties and harmed around 33 million people, and the country needed $16 billion to recover.
According to a report, approximately 17 million women and children in Pakistan are in danger of contracting preventable illnesses. Women play a crucial role in the country’s agricultural industry.
However, they still face significant gender-based inequalities, such as challenges in owning land, accessing resources, receiving support, and getting financial services. Additionally, a study conducted by the International Food Policy Research Institute predicted that climate change could lead to a 40% drop in agricultural yields by 2050 in Pakistan, aggravating food insecurity problems for women.
Sources also indicated that in this situation, women are the ones who are affected. One of the local farm workers said that flooding destroyed all wheat fields, which was her main income source. After the wheat crops, her earning is now half, and they have 30 people in her family.”
Plenty of such stories hit the areas, and the situation seems to need improvement. Sources also indicated that the country needs to work on their emergency footing to prevent the government from emergencies like these. One of the solutions is also to recognize women’s informal labour.