Published:  08:16 PM, 03 December 2019

Food security, nutrition emerging challenges: Minister

Food security, nutrition emerging challenges: Minister

Voicing concern over the emerging challenges of food security and nutrition, Agriculture Minister Abdur Razzaque on Tuesday said his government is firmly committed to ensuring safe food for all.

He came up with the remark while addressing the inaugural session of National Scientific-Symposium and Technology Exhibition on Agriculture to Nutrition Pathways at a city hotel.

Feed the Future Innovation Lab for Nutrition at Tufts University, in collaboration with the Feed the Future Horticulture Innovation Lab and Helen Keller International (HKl) Bangladesh organised the two-day event.

Terming climate change a big challenge for the country’s sustainable development, the minister said it affects food production and health, too.

Abdur Razzaque urged local and global experts to share their experiences properly so that food security and nutrition could be ensured in Bangladesh.

"Bangladesh is now on right track. We’ve achieved success in attaining Millennium Development Goals (MDG). We can also achieve 17 goals of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). We expect to become middle-income country by 2021, higher middle-income one by 2030 and developed one by 2041," he added.

Razzaque claimed that the government has brought down the poverty level. "We’ve improved social index, too. The government has increased allocations in social safety net and ‘Turn village into township’ is the government's election manifesto,” he added.

Dr Md Ruhul Amin Talukder, additional secretary to the Agriculture Ministry, presided over the inaugural session.

Aminuzzaman Talukder, Country Director of Helen Keller International, Bangladesh, said Bangladesh has seen a significant improvement in its economy in the past decade, and agriculture and fisheries are the pillars of this growing economy.

"Despite this progress, about 35 percent of the total population remains food insecure. Dietary diversity has been reported to be poor with only 70 percent of the diet comprising cereals inadequate protein and micronutrients," he also said.

Dr Tahmeed Ahmed, senior director,  Nutrition and Clinical of International Centre for Diarrhoeal Disease Research, Bangladesh (ICDDR,B) read out the keynote paper on "Frontiers Linking Agriculture, Health and Nutrition: Research Gaps in Bangladesh."

Dr Md Abdul Muyeed, director general of Agriculture Extension Department, and Dr Md Shah Nawaz, director general of Bangladesh National Nutrition Council (BNNC) were present as special guests.

Local and international experts also attended the programme.

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