Wednesday, December 30, 2009


Pakistan seems to be a favorable ally of the western world as evidenced by the uninterrupted flow of economic aid for arms as well as alms. The latest in the queue to shower the "aid" is the European Union which is extending financial help to raise agricultural productivity in 17 districts in that country by 30%. This aid is supposed to be for procuring quality seeds, fertilizers, better irrigation management and agricultural machinery. Why Pakistan which is in the forefront in Asia in using modern agricultural technology needs assistance from EU defies logic.

"The EU "Food Facility" is the European Union's 1 billion euros (Rs 113 billion) response to the food crisis, showing Europe's firm commitment to help poor countries boost agricultural production, especially in a time that hunger was on the rise even more because of the global economic crisis. This support comes when Pakistan had just produced a bumper crop of 24 million tonnes of wheat—2 million above its nationwide requirement in food. Yet prices remain stubbornly high, especially in rural areas, where most food insecure people live. The food may be there, but for many, it is too expensive to buy, he maintained".

Whole world knows how 'efficient' Pakistan is in diverting foreign aids for building its armed forces to fight its arch enemy, India in a hypothetical war. No matter how much money is poured into that country, the conditions of the poor are not going to change with staple foods becoming dearer with each passing day. The theory that by bridging the gap between demand and supply of staples the prices can be brought down is a fallacy because food "inflation" in many parts of Asia has many other dimensions, not appreciated by the donor countries.

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