LAHORE - Federal Minister for National Food Security and Research Sikandar Hayat Khan Bosan has called for adopting a multi-sector approach to address malnutrition and food safety issues.
The minister said this while addressing the inaugural session of a two-day international conference and expo on “Recent Developments in Human Nutrition” organised by the University of Veterinary and Animal Sciences (UVAS) in collaboration with the Nutritionists Association of Pakistan (NAP) at a local hotel on Wednesday.
University of Health Sciences Vice-Chancellor MAj Gen (r) Prof Muhammad Aslam, GC University VC Prof Dr Khaliqur Rehman, European Union Ambassador Lars Gunner Wigemark, NAP President Dr Mussadiq Asif and others were also present.
Bosan said that the government was making nutrition-sensitive interventions in health and various other sectors like food, agriculture water and sanitation to address malnutrition and its adverse effects. He said the Ministry of National Food Security and Research has forwarded a bill to the cabinet for approval to establish a Federal Food Safety, Animal and Plant Health Regulatory Authority. He said the 18th Amendment had empowered provinces to make policies and plans to address malnutrition and food safety issues.
Bosan said that his ministry would ensure implementation of such recommendations of the conference which could help prevent hunger, address malnutrition and food security issues. He also accepted a suggestion put up during the conference to establish a Nutrition & Dietetic Council.
Later, talking to media, Bosan said that the government was committed and doing everything to minimise the damage caused by the Tharparkar drought. He said that there is no food security issue in the country as Pakistan had sufficient stocks of food. “But there can be involved other factors in Tharparkar drought issue. We are adopting an integrated and coordinated mechanism with provincial governments to safeguard health of masses ensuring that no such situation emerges again,” he added.
UVAS VC Dr Talat Naseer Pasha said that the focus of the conference was to bring together researchers, scientists, scholars, experts and practitioners to get insight into recent scientific advancements in human nutrition, share experiences, problems and find out solutions.
He said that malnutrition is not only effecting health but also the human development index and economy. “Addressing malnutrition is not a standalone subject and needs a multi-sector approach,” he added.