ISLAMABAD (Online) - Expressing concern about food insecurity, Oxfam Country Director Neva Khan has stressed the need for stepping up endeavours to cope with food needs across the country. Soaring food prices and lack of political will to fix the broken food system are forcing more people into greater hunger each day, she said Saturday. Neva Khan said depleting land and energy resources, inadequate land distribution, lack of effective agriculture policies, climate change and natural disasters are interconnected and are directly affecting food security. She added that a study conducted by Oxfam in six disaster-prone districts of the country showed the number of undernourished people exceeded from 50 per cent of the area population. In Pakistan, the poverty rate has officially jumped from 24 per cent to 38 per cent between 2005 and 2009 and according to latest figures, 72.9 million people in Pakistan fall below the poverty line while hundreds of thousands of other barely manage to have their basic needs met, she said, adding that less than half of all rural households owned agricultural lands, while the top 2.5 per cent of households owned 40 of all lands. Oxfam Country Programme Manager Iftikhar Khalid said that landless farmers, especially women and small growers, should be at the centre of all agricultural policies. He said that timely availability of inputs such as certified seed, quality fertilizer, and legal support as well as the necessary equipment must be made possible to help them better grow the food. He demanded the government ensure the provision of specialised services for pest management, veterinary care water management and creation of farmers organisations to guarantee improved food production and fair return for farmers. It high time that action taken to improve the food security in Pakistan as the country can not afford more delays and this must be happen now, he added.