ISLAMABAD - The global agricultural production must be enhanced by 50 per cent by 2050 to feed a population of nine billion, a business leader said Friday.

Highlighting the significance of food security, President Islamabad Chamber of Commerce and Industry (ICCI) Atif Ikram Sheikh said that proper food at reasonable price is the basic right of everyone for which all countries must unite to forge an action plan.

He said that Saarc countries should tackle the issue of food security on preference as world’s 20 percent poorest lives in this region which 10 percent of the poorest lives in Africa. Citing a latest report of World Bank, he said that population is growing at a rapid pace while agricultural production will recede by 25 percent due to climate change posting new challenges.

Production cannot be used by employing outdated methods and in presence of dissatisfied farmers which is the reason for hidden subsidies worth tens of billions of dollars in west in violation of WTO rules.

Atif Ikram Sheikh said that presently one billion people are dependent on seafood to fulfil their needs for protein which may become difficult in the long run.

He said 94 percent land of 13 million hectors of land is used to grow wheat, rice and maize but production is not satisfactory due to issue like fake pesticides, costly inputs, want of urea and loans, storage, sale, import, export, middlemen, loan sharks, smuggling, surplus production etc. that must be tackled.