Tuesday, October 24, 2017

Bangladesh must target nutrition after food security, says PM Hasina

  • Senior Correspondent, bdnews24.com
    Published: 2017-08-13 15:11:21 BdST


It is essential to ensure nutrition in addition to food security, says Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina.

The Awami League government has ensured food security for people, Hasina said at the first meeting of the National Nutrition Council on Sunday.

“Nutrition depends on many factors. Our food habit must improve and we should eat in a timely manner.”

The prime minister called on people to adopt a balanced diet and stressed the importance of raising awareness of nutrition in rural areas.

Hasina also called for an increase in fish production to improve nutrition for rural areas.

On Apr 23, 1975 the then President Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman ordered the formation of a Bangladesh National Nutrition Council.

A year after the Awami League government came to power in 1996, the government made the first national nutrition action plan.

The national nutrition plan took until 2015 to receive approval.

Work on a second national nutrition action plan began in 2016 to decide the initial steps required to reach the goals set out by the government.

It will only be possible to reach nutrition goals if we reach food production goals, said Hasina.

The Awami League has always inherited a food shortage from its preceding administrations, said Hasina.

When the BNP handed over power in 1996, there was a four million-tonne shortage of food in Bangladesh. In 2001, when the Awami League handed over power, the country had a food surplus of 2.6 million tonnes.

In 2009, when the Awami League returned to power, there was a food shortage of three million tonnes.

The prime minister noted that flooding caused significant damage to food production this year.

“We believe there may be another flood. We may face a food problem if the flooding is severe,” Hasina said.

“The government is preparing to import and store food so that this problem does not arise and sufficient food can be provided to meet the needs of people.”