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Experts call for action to make healthy food accessible to all

Federa­l minist­er says projec­ts helpin­g farmer­s use new techno­logies to boost yield


There is a dire need for action across a host of sectors to make healthy and sustainable diets accessible and affordable to everyone.

This was stressed by speakers at an event marking World Food Day at the National Agriculture Research Centre (NARC) in Islamabad on Wednesday. The event had been organised by the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) along with the Ministry of National Food Security Research, Pakistan Agricultural Research Council (PARC), the World Food Programme (WFP), Oxfam and research institutes.

The theme for this year was ‘Our actions are our future: healthy diets for a zero hunger world’.

“The Ministry of National Food Security Research, under the instructions of Prime Minister Imran Khan, has launched various projects about agriculture which encompass wheat and rice,” said Federal Food Security Minister Mehboob Sultan, adding that of the 820 million malnourished people in the world, around 40 million reside in Pakistan.

The minister stated that their projects will guide farmers on how to take up new technologies which will enhance their production levels.

PARC Chairman Dr Azeem Khan stressed the need for strengthening efforts for food security.

In this regard, he stated that it was critical to increase access to a sufficient amount of food to promote and sustain good health.

“This year, World Food Day calls for action to make healthy diets available to all,” said FAO Representative Minà Dowlatchahi.

“World Food Day is an opportunity to strengthen global commitment towards zero hunger, which is one of the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) adopted by 193 countries,” reiterated WFP Country Director Pakistan Finabarr Curran.

“The SDGs remind us to work together to end hunger and promote healthy diets by 2030, in Pakistan and around the world,” he pointed out.

OXFAM Pakistan Country Director Mohammad Qazilbash said that it was important to seize the opportunity for change and set a course towards a prosperous future, in an age of cooperation rather than competition, in which the wellbeing of the many will be ensured. UN Resident Coordinator Knut Ostby read out a message from the United Nations Secretary-General for World Food Day.

Published in The Express Tribune, October 17th, 2019.

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