For balanced diet
Speakers including officials, nutritionists and food policy analysts yesterday underscored the need for increasing share of dietary intake for cross-section of people from non-cereal foods.
Bangladesh has made considerable progress in cereal food production in recent years, but the production of non-cereal foods including fruits and animal protein still lags behind that posing a serious challenge for the country in attaining sustainable development goals (SDGs), they said.
The speakers made the remarks while addressing a media sensitization workshop on participation of Bangladesh in the UN food system summit 2021 at Tathya Bhaban.
The United Nations Secretary General in collaboration with the United Nations Rome based agencies is going to convene the Food System Summit (UNFSS) on September 23 in New York for setting the stage for the food system transformation to achieve the goals by 2030.
Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina is expected to deliver her address in the summit in New York on the scheduled date.
Food Minister Sadhan Chandra Majumder attended the workshop as the chief guest while Information and Broadcasting Secretary Mokbul Hossain was the special guest. Food Secretary Dr Mosammat Nazmanara Khanum chaired it.
Participating in the workshop, the food minister said “The government has taken part in the summit by organizing the national and sub-national dialogues and producing a national development agenda or ‘National Pathway Document’ transforming food systems and accelerating progress towards Agenda 2030.”
The process that is being led by a national committee under the leadership of the food secretary and active support from the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) of the United Nations and Global Alliance for Improved Nutrition (GAIN) will help Bangladesh take a decade long plan on food system development in line with the summit recommendations, the minister told the function.
The food minister said there are also geographical and socio-economic disparities in malnutrition prevalence, adding that under nutrition is higher in rural areas compared to urban zones.
The prevailing scenario calls for new strategies and actions to accelerate progress towards realization of the SDGs agenda. In order to ensure access to safe and nutritious food for all it is required to have a shift to the sustainable consumption pattern with the boost of nature positive production at sufficient scale and advancement in the equitable livelihood, he said.
Terming food security a cross cutting issue, the Information and Broadcasting Secretary said the food dimension has been changed worldwide as the rice is not the only food. The food intake now is being determined through calculating the net calorie intake and in terms of the calorie intake around 12 per cent extreme poor people in the country are vulnerable in mitigating their food demand.
Director General of the Food Policy and Monitoring Unit (FPMU) under the Food Ministry Mohammad Shahiduzzaman Faruki gave the welcome address while FAO Representative in Bangladesh Mr Robert D Simpson and Country Director of Global Alliance for Improved Nutrition (GAIN) Dr Rudaba Khondker also made remarks in the workshop.
Addressing the workshop, the food secretary said the government has prepared a food system strategy development plan in the name of ‘ National Pathway Document’ in line with the UN food systems summit as the document has been included detailed decade long plan for developing the food system of the country.
Later a total of five action tracks on the UN Food System Summit 2021 also were presented at the second session of the workshop.
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