Food security has emerged as a critical global issue given climate change’s impact. In Pakistan’s Pashtun region, sudden environmental changes are occurring very often. Prior to the 1980s, the region suffered from severe food insecurity and monthly food rationing system was in practice in the province. After Ayub Khan’s green revolution era, the situation changed within two decades. It was a major achievement,but its impact receded as crop production went on to decline with the passage of time due to many factors including land fragmentation, irrigation water stresses, severe use of chemicals and substandard seeds. Resultantly, food security has become a serious issue for the region once again. The latest in this issue is the much-touted China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC),which is under active scrutiny and discussion because of its impacts on different sectors. Environmental changes that are harsh enough to affect agricultural production adversely have never been given the needed importance they deserve. Work on energy, transportation, large industrial complexes and fibre optics is ongoing, but apparently food security — the foundation for peace and stability — does not appear to be in the priority list. Consider that a fourth of the world’s population, living in China, imports food worth US$ 100 billion a year. Most of these export products will go through the Pashtun region after CPEC’s completion. Loaded containers will be en route to different countries. On their return,these empty containers can be used to export our fresh farm products to international markets. Pakistan needs to take advantage of this opportunity and initiate with China the course of action required for upgrading existing farm mechanics, making them efficient enough meet future demands. The revival of the defunct Fruit and Vegetable Development Board in KP should also be a high priority to promote organic fruits and off-season vegetables so that we are able to compete with the world market, and make full use of CPEC In the longterm, the main interest of China’s investment in our country would be the agriculture sector. It may be acquiring huge quantities of lands to produce crop of its choice. Chinese dominance on Pakistan’s economy at the expense of local industry remains a constant threat in this model. Different aspects of this deal would need to be examined in terms of their impact on our overall social, cultural and economic dynamics. We should not support Chinese investors to come and work for corporate farming in Pakistan at their own sweet well. This is not acceptable to the local population as it adversely affects its social and cultural fabric, and disconnects the traditional lifestyle in place. Instead, organic farms and crops patterns should be encouraged. Pakistan has plenty of untapped resources like land, forests, water, and human resources. Over half of the country’s 210 million population in located on the main trade routes falling under CPEC. Therefore, the development of the agriculture sector would mean local and regional food security and economic uplift of the farming community, which consists of 75 percent of the population. Agriculture dominates the economy of the Pashtun region in particular. This sector has been facing severe threats and challenges. Availability of certified seeds, which are the basic ingredient for increasing crop production, is less than 20 percent. Similarly irrigation water, soil organic matter, area growth, technology transfer and per unit yield are moving on a downward trend, while major threats like emerging new crop diseases, insects, pests and weeds, use of chemicals, food demands, population growth, urbanisation, adulteration, production costs, water logging, salinity and erosions are on the rise. CPEC presents an interesting opportunity for our country. Through it we can actually try to tap into the international market, generate revenue, and reduce food insecurity in the process Since the local food production hardly meets the needs of a third of the population, the rest is imported. However, certain steps can be taken to fix this problem. For starters, preparing a five-year crash programme to develop irrigation systems is important.The idea of constructing small dams like the Sultanate of Oman can be considered. This is a quicker option and said to be technically feasible, economically viable, and environmentally friendly. For quality seed production and its distribution amongst the farming communities, an independent seed corporation on the pattern of Punjab should be established in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa on an urgent basis. This will directly enhance the per unit crop yields by at least 20 percent. Agricultural research systems must be strengthened enough to work efficiently in transferring technologies; simultaneously, all agricultural extension offices may be declared farmers’ field schools to educate small farmers, who account for 90 percent of the community. Better organisations are needed, and they are needed in bigger numbers. For instance, farmer’s organisations from villages to district levels, family farming, farmer’s co-operative shops and special farmer’s groups, i.e. livestock farmers group, poultry farmers group, fruit farmers group etc. must be organised in villages and towns, with their widespread networks across the region. A radio channel called Kissan Radio can be launched to support any and all efforts for improvement. There is a need for discouraging township schemes and all types of construction on productive agriculture lands. There is an urgent need for legislation on proper land use planning. The revival of the defunct Fruit and Vegetable Development Board in KP should also be a high priority to promote organic fruits and off-season vegetables so that we are able to compete with the world market, and make full use of CPEC. The writer is an agricultural researcher from Swat, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa. He can be reachedat firstname.lastname@example.org Published in Daily Times, June 24th 2018.