Workshop for stronger coop to boost food system

ISLAMABAD   -  Participants of a workshop have stressed the need for improved access and affordability of safe and nutritious diets as well as stakeholders’ engagement and the public sector leadership to influence the policy formulation process towards diet and diet quality.

The Pakistan Agricultural Re­search Council (PARC) in collab­oration with the Global Alliance for Improved Nutrition (GAIN) hosted the Pakistan Food Sys­tem Dashboard (FSD) initiative here on Monday.

With a shared commitment to evidence generation, PARC and GAIN are spearheading efforts to support the formulation of food-related policies in Pakistan.

The cornerstone of this col­laboration is the scaling up of data collection on diet quality through the utilization of Diet Quality Questionnaires (DQQ), developed by the esteemed Global Diet Quality Project (GDQP), a collaborative effort between GAIN, Gallup, and Har­vard University. This question­naire serves as an invaluable tool for assessing and monitor­ing dietary habits within popu­lations.

Faiz Rasool-Head of Policy & Advocacy highlighted the issue of improved access and afforda­bility of safe and nutritious diets and emphasized the stakehold­er engagement and the public sector leadership to influence the policy formulation process towards diet and diet quality.

Dr. Ghulam Sadiq Afridi, Mem­ber Social Sciences Division at PARC, expressed enthusiasm about the collaboration, stating, “this partnership underscores our collective commitment to advancing sustainable food sys­tems and improving nutrition outcomes in Pakistan. By har­nessing the insights provided by the Diet Quality Questionnaire, we aim to empower stakehold­ers with actionable data to drive evidence-based policy formula­tion and interventions.”

Secretary Ministry of Food Security Captain (R) Muham­mad Asif commended the col­laborative efforts between the Pakistan Agricultural Research Council (PARC) and the Glob­al Alliance for Improved Nutri­tion (GAIN) in advancing the Pa­kistan Food System Dashboard initiative. He further added that “the endeavour to enhance food system sustainability and im­prove diet quality aligns close­ly with our ministry’s goals of promoting food security and nutrition across the nation. The utilization of Diet Quali­ty Questionnaire (DQQ), devel­oped by the Global Diet Quality Project (GDQP), marks a signif­icant step forward in our quest to gather comprehensive data on dietary habits and trends within our population. Such ev­idence-based tools are invalua­ble in guiding policy formula­tion and interventions aimed at addressing nutrition challenges. I welcome the forthcoming ori­entation workshop on the FSD, DQQ, and the Cost of Healthy Diet, which will bring together national and provincial stake­holders to discuss strategies for strengthening food systems and promoting healthier diets. It is imperative that we harness the insights provided by these ini­tiatives to inform our policy de­cisions and drive tangible im­provements in public health outcomes.

The orientation workshop will provide participants with a comprehensive understand­ing of the FSD framework, the significance of DQQ in assessing diet quality, and insights into the economic implications of promoting healthy diets.

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