According to a statement released by media office of the Afghan ministry, the purpose of the meeting was to share the challenges and opportunities in promoting nutrition sensitive agriculture in Afghanistan, which was based on the outcomes of the regional workshops on the nutrition sensitive agriculture held in five regions from November 2015 to April 2016.
The meeting was attended by Ms. Nazira Rahman, Director of Home Economics of MAIL, Tomio Shichiri, FAO Representative in Afghanistan, MAIL directors and representatives from UN agencies and NGO’s.
The Strengthening Policy Development and Coordination for Food Security and Nutrition Project of Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) organized the regional workshops in the five regions of Afghanistan with the aim of sensitizing the relevant MAIL and DAIL staff working at central, field level, and other stakeholders to develop a better understating on the linkages between agriculture and nutrition and identify the key actions and recommendations on how to improve the nutrition sensitive agriculture in the country.
Nutrition-sensitive agriculture is an approach that seeks to maximize agriculture’s contribution to nutrition and to recognize the nutritional value of food for good nutrition, health and productivity, and the social significance of the food and agricultural sector for supporting food and nutrition security. Said the statement.
MAIL as a key institution of the government of Afghanistan leads, food production in the country, is responsible for feeding the nation through enhancing food availability, accessibility, diversity and better utilization. The crucial role of MAIL in the promotion of nutrition sensitive Agriculture through leading inclusive food system chain from agriculture inputs throughout food consumptions that should not only focus on food production but also include safe and nutritious food supply, nutrition sensitive processing, distribution, marketing, and consumption.
Statement added “FAO promotes nutrition-sensitive agriculture through a variety of partnerships and capacity development initiatives to integrate nutrition objectives and concerns in the entire agricultural investment planning process”, said Ms. Nazira Rahman, Director of Home Economics of MAIL. “This is a good opportunity for us to discuss and work on mainstreaming nutrition considerations into policy and programs, finding out how agriculture can best serve nutrition goals in addition to its economic benefits”.
“This meeting offers the opportunity to review the inputs received from all field level people working on food security and nutrition,” said Mr. Tomio Shichiri, FAO Representative in Afghanistan. “This paves the way for an opportunity to share your thoughts and ideas on this issue from your own experience and knowledge that how nutrition and food security can be improved from food production and agriculture perspective.
This high-level meeting on nutrition sensitive agriculture was conducted with the technical support of “Strengthening Policy Development and Coordination for Food Security and Nutrition Project” of Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), funded by the Federal Republic of Germany. The project has been working with the Ministry of Agriculture, Irrigation, and Livestock (MAIL) since 2013 in order to enhance its capacity on food security and nutrition policies and programming.