ISLAMABAD – The ministry of National Food Security & Research has finalised the draft of National Food and Nutrition Security Policy intending to counter the food insecurity in the country.
In order to seek the feedback of all stakeholders, a consultative workshop of National Food & Nutrition Security Policy was held here Wednesday which was hosted by Ministry of National Food Security & Research. A welcome address was delivered by Secretary Ahmed Bakhsh Lehri and PAC Chairman Nadeem Afzal Chan attended the concluding session as the chief guest. Provincial Secretaries for Agriculture, Livestock, Food as well as Country Representative of World Food Programme, Mr Jean-Luc Siblot were also present on the occasion.
The other objectives of the policy included establishing the vision and institutional structures which would allow NFS&R to facilitate a process involving federal and provincial authorities including ministries, departments, development partners, civil society and private sector through the establishment of a Food and Nutrition Security Council (FNSC) at national, provincial and district level.
The main role of FNSC would be to ensure coordination of federal and provincial ministries and government agencies in the fight against hunger and malnutrition.
, and to ensure dialogue between the government and civil society to devise some specific objective and strategies aimed at achieving a comprehensive food and nutritional security by increasing food supplies.
The long term goal proposed in NF&NSP is to ensure that all Pakistanis have physical and economic access to enough nutritious foods on sustainable basis for an active, healthy life; the ways in which food is produced and distributed shall be environment friendly and sustainable, both the production and consumption of food should be governed by social values that are just and equitable as well as moral, ethical and uphold human dignity, reduce the current food insecurity proportion with a focus on halving malnutrition by 2030 and to bring poverty, food insecurity proportion to zero level by 2050.
Four main policy features are Sustainable Food Availability, Food Accessibility, Food Utilisation and Nutrition and Stability in Food Supplies. Food availability refers to food that is sufficient in appropriate quantities and qualities supplied through domestic production or imports.
According to the proposed policy, in the wake of growing population of the country, the food demands shall naturally increase. However, future food demands would be different from today because of different factors like increase in proportion of older people due to age longevity, greater urbanisation and emergence of cities, changes in family composition and structure, changes in food consumption and patterns and habits.
According to the proposed draft of agriculture policy, access to food implies whether individuals and households are able to access the required food. The new policy also stresses physical, social and economic access to adequate food at all times. Food utilisation and nutrition dimension of food security means that food is properly used; proper food processing and storage techniques are employed, adequate knowledge of nutrition and childcare techniques exist and are applied.
The new policy also stressed that every individual must have adequate and nutritious food that is accessible at the required time in useable farm. There is a need to improve food security management during disasters.
A number of measures need to be taken in due course, including promoting coordinated approach for disaster preparedness and management, to ensure allocation of adequate resource to disaster management and improve system of assessing possibilities of a shock.
The new policy also proposes to establish, food and nutrition information system and monitoring and evaluation.
Food and nutrition security information is a necessary element of national goal of reducing food insecurity and malnutrition since it helps in decision making, policy and programme interventions.