The Kabul times, Afghanistan Trustable News Agency.

Afghan delegation attends ‘food security & nutrition program in Bangladesh’

Under the EU and FAO joint initiative on Policy Assistance to governments; FIRST Program(Food and Nutrition Security, Impact, Resilience, Sustainability and Transformation) was held in Bangladesh.
A13 members delegation of high level government officialsand members of Afghanistan Food Security and Nutrition Agenda(AFSeN-A), led by Nasrullah Arsalai, Director General, Council of Ministers’ Secretariat, Islamic Republic of Afghanistan, the Coordinator of the AFSeN-A on behalf of the Government and the SUN Focal Point, has successfully completed visit of People’s Republic of Bangladesh from first to fifth of July 2018.
The Afghan delegation met with advocate Qamrul Islam, MP, Honorable Minister of Food, Government of the People’s Republic of Bangladesh (GoB), and with Begum Matia Chowdhury, MP, Honorable Minister of Agriculture, GoB.
The minsters informed the team about the success stories in agriculture sector and on food and nutrition security interventions. The team visited 16 different institutions including research institutes, departments, ministries, authoritiesand universities, including FAO-Bangladesh, Bangladesh Food Safety Authority, National Food Safety Laboratory and Food Planning and Monitoring Unit.
To ensure sustainability of AFSeN-A, its institutionalization and to include it in the national development agenda in Afghanistan; the delegation’s trip was aimed to strengthen the FSN Policy, Investment, Monitoring and Governance Framework in Afghanistan through learnings from the Bangladesh experiences.
The Government of Islamic Republic of Afghanistan has recognized the importance of addressing food insecurity and under-nutrition in recent years by launching AFSeN-A in Oct 2017.
Meanwhile, the three UN agencies will provide technical and financial support for at least two years to ensure the establishment and operationalization of the AFSeN Secretariat as well as the food security and nutrition coordination mechanisms. The goal of AFSeN is “to ensure that no Afghan suffers from hunger and every Afghan is well nourished at all times”.
FIRST provided the technical assistance to Government of Islamic Republic of Afghanistan (GOIRA) to address the FSN issues through the “Afghanistan Food Security and Nutrition Agenda (AFSeN)”; in the operationalization and institutionalization of AFSeN in Afghanistan in a coordinated fashion.
Technical assistance and strategic support extended under FIRST to GOIRA in conducting the Country Strategic Review on Zero Hunger under SGD-2; the recommendations of the report will feed into the strategic planning of AFSeN.
While to ensure mainstreaming Food and Nutrition Security and Agriculture in the national Sustainable Development Goals debate; with SDG Nationalization process (covering SDG Integration process, outputs and implementation), FIRST has supported Ministry of Agriculture, Irrigation and Livestock, Ministry of Economy in preparation of Voluntary National Review for High Level Political Forum – 2017; and a Roadmap for Agriculture and Natural Resources Management is developed which proposed for aligning national and provincial planning with SDGs in the domain of Agriculture and Natural Resources Management (ANR).
In response, FAO facilitated a South-South Cooperation study tour to People Republic of Bangladesh jointly with FIRST Policy Officer and FAO Bangladesh Office.
The delegation has learned about the progress Bangladesh has made in nutrition sensitive agriculture and in climate sensitive agriculture; Fortification and bio-fortification; GMOs; plant tissue culture; targeted programs for vulnerable people; programs to develop environment-friendly pesticides; developing stress tolerant crop varieties; developing local technology to help farmers and many more.
One of the key take-away and message which has impressed the team was the slogan which says‘rice is life and rice security is the food security’. This is manifestation of the seriousness to promote sustainable and environment-friendly food systems.
Bangladesh government has improved the enabling environment and has fostered coordination and collaboration with the private sector while keeping the farmers and producers at the heart of its development agenda; engagement of political leadership and good collaboration with development and UN partners is nurturing enabling environment and more productive and coordinated stakeholder engagement.
The Kabul Times

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The Kabul times, Afghanistan Trustable News Agency.