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MPhil in Engineering for Sustainable Development

global challenges, engineering solutions

Sustainable Agriculture and Food Security in Pakistan


The population growth in the world is outstripping agricultural productivity and hence food supply.  Pakistan  has been  ranked the sixth most  populous country in  the world with total population of 180 million. Population is expected to swell to 218 million by 2025 and then further to 271 million by 2050, while the agricultural production is growing at slower
rate of about 2.1% annually. The agriculture sector is the dominant driver for growth and development of Pakistan‘s economy, making the country predominantly an agrarian state, contributing up to 45% of the country‘s total labour
force. Its present share in Gross Domestic Product (GDP) is 22%, and this contributes to over 79% to the foreign exchange earnings of the country by exporting raw and processed agricultural products. The major challenges that Pakistan faces today are to meet the demands of an increasing population and to reverse environmental degradation. Unfortunately, environmental degradation is accelerating at a pace that is impairing the productive capacity of our productive lands.

This paper focuses on researching an efficient and competitively sustainable agriculture to ensure food security, so as to contribute to the general economic development of Pakistan. This growth cannot be made possible without sufficient water, land and energy that can result into sustainable economy of the country.

This study provides in-depth analysis of Water, Land and Energy nexus resource availability for Pakistan‘s current and future requirements. The analysis is done by calculating the resources required in six different scenarios of food requirement for the country from 2012 to 2050. This research also identifies city and province wise situation of food insecurity in Pakistan which lead to different infrastructural and administrative issues. Data source includes World Bank (WB), Food and Agricultural Organisation of United Nations (FAO), Planning Commission of Pakistan (PC), Pakistan Bureau of Statistics (PBOS) and Sustainable Development Policy Institute of Pakistan (SDPI).

The calculations show that Pakistan does not have enough water, land and energy to meet future food requirements to feed her population. The practical implication is a policy shift towards water security which will ensure energy and food security in the country. To be able to avert this situation, Pakistan needs to readjust investment priorities and realign strategies to optimize its water productivity in order to achieve growth rate of 7 to 9% which is mandatory to address
requirements of growing population.

Key word: Food security, sustainable agriculture, water security, energy security,
Pakistan, climate change, policy, land.


Course Overview


The need to engage in better problem definition through careful dialogue with all stakeholder groups and a proper recognition of context.


An ability to work with specialists from other disciplines and professional groups acknowledging that technical innovation and business skills also must be understood, nurtured and combined as precursors to the successful implementation of sustainable solutions.


An understanding of mechanisms for managing change in organisations so future engineers are equipped to play a leadership role.


An awareness of a range of assessment frameworks, sustainability metrics and methodologies such as Life Cycle Analysis, Systems Dynamics, Multi-Criteria Decision making and Impact Assessment.