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Climate-smart food system should get focus: Speakers

  • Staff Correspondent
  • 2 December, 2022 12:00 AM
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Climate-smart food system should get focus: Speakers

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Developing a climate smart and nutrition sensitive food system should be in priority through gathering information, knowledge and dissemination for formulating time befitting policies.

“Resource mobilisation, prioritisation and integration of multi sectoral actions are needed for developing climate smart and nutrition sensitive food system,” Matia Chowdhury said while addressing a regional dialogue styled ‘Resilient Food Systems for a Nutrition Secure South Asia’ at a city hotel on Thursday.

Matia Chowdhury, also Chairman of the Parliamentary Standing Committee on Agriculture ministry, appreciated the organisers for the talks amid the global crisis due to coronavirus pandemic and Russia-Ukraine war.

“Climate change affects life and livelihoods of large section of small and marginal farmers and food production and productivity. Frequent climate shocks that can potentially disrupt the food system, increase inequality and jeopardize people’s access to food,” she said.

The South Asian Policy Leadership for Improved Nutrition and Growth (SAPLING), in association with BRAC, organised the programme. Highlighting different initiatives taken by the current government, Chowdhury said there is no alternative to develop awareness among people about food security.

Addressing the programme, State Minister for Planning Dr Shamsul Alam said institutional setup complemented by multi-sectoral and multi-country cooperation is necessary to ensure accessibility and availability of safe and nutritious food in South Asia.

Re-emphasising on the need of regional collaboration among South Asian countries and establishing its alignment with the UN Food Systems Summit, Senior Agriculture Economist at The World Bank, Dhaka Amadou Ba presented the final summation.

Director of SAPLING Secretariat Dr Morsheda Chowdhury, senior programme officer of Agricultural Development in Asia at Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation (BMGF) Siddharth Chaturvedi, SAPLING Steering Committee Member Dr Abdus Sattar Mandal and Dr WMW Weerakoon, among others, also addressed the progaramme.

The dialogue hosted three important seminars on three significant issues considering the context of SAPLING’s priority countries Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Nepal and Sri Lanka.

Additional Secretary of the Ministry of Agriculture Dr Ruhul Amin Talukdar, Additional Secretary of the Agricultural Technology Division of the Sri Lanka’s Ministry of Agriculture, Group Manager of Sri Lanka’s Agri-Business, Cargills Ceylon PLC Haridas Fernando, Co-Founder and Chief Operating Officer of India’s Cropin Technology Soutions Kunal Prasad, Chief of Party at International Rice Research Institute (IRRI) Dr Md Sirajul Islam and Country Manager of Global Center on Adaptation, Bangladesh Mehedi Ahsan were the panelists in the first seminar styled ‘Climate-Smart Food System’ moderated by Board Member of IPE Global CK Mishra.

In the second seminar titled ‘Post Harvest Losses’, Chief of National Harvest Center of Bhutan Dechen Tshering, Senior Research Coordinator of International Food Policy Research Institute Dr Shoumi Mustafa, Principal Research Scientist of Sri Lanka’s National Institute of Post Harvest Management Nilanthi Wijewardane and Senior Program Specialist of SAARC Agriculture Centre (SAC) Dr Nasreen Sultana shared their experiences and suggestions.

Member of Bangladesh Food safety Authority Abdul Alim, IRRI Representative Dr Zainul Abedin, Joint Secretary of Nepal’s Ministry of Agriculture and Livestock Development Sanjeev Kumar Karn and SAC Director Md Baktear Hossain were the panelists in the third seminar on ‘Food Safety Standards’.