19 February 2020, Dhaka, The People’s Republic of Bangladesh. H.E. Mr. Yerlan Baidaulet Director General of IOFS met H.E. Mr. Sadhan Chandra Majumder Minister of Food of the People’s Republic of Bangladesh during his mission to Dhaka on 19.02.2020.
Director General of IOFS highly appreciated this courtesy visit and outlined the important role of esteemed Ministry in the operationalization of IOFS. Bangladesh is a member of the Executive Board who displays a notable and active engagement in the implementation of IOFS programmes. Director General informed the Minister about the recent updates in the programmes and was delighted by the tremendous support from the Bangladeshi side.
According to the Bangladeshi officials, the main areas through which Bangladesh could contribute to food security in all of Ummah are rice cultivation and the establishment of a Center of Excellence for the development of rice production. Using these mechanisms, Bangladesh may share their knowledge and facilitate capacity building among other member states that cultivate rice too.
Dr. Mosammat Nazmanar Khanum, Secretary of Ministry of Food, kindly introduced the Ministry officials, and the latter shared their views on IOFS programmes. Ministry officials explained that they work very closely with a wide range of international organizations on programmes within sustainable development goals. Having ranked the 4th in fishery production and the 3rd in vegetable production in OIC countries, Bangladesh has a very bright perspective to become one of the drivers of food exports. Rice is known to be a staple food with a high level of surplus. Moreover, Bangladesh welcomes the idea of establishing a center of excellence in the Rice development area.
Furthermore, the officials shared two presentations about the whole food security system in Bangladesh, copies of strategic documents, and knowledge on the institutionalization of the national food system.
The food security system in Bangladesh is governed by several institutions that reflect the multidimensional nature of food security, including such disciplines as agriculture, rural development, women's and children's affairs, health, finance, commerce and disaster management. The Bangladeshi Prime Minister prioritized the issues of food security and instructed to build complex food security plans. For the present, the state elaborated and successfully launched the National Food Policy, National Food Policy Plan of Action, Bangladesh Country Investment Plan. The State also established the following decision-making authorities.
1. Food Planning and Monitoring Committee is a cabinet-level committee that provides overall leadership and oversees the formulation of food security policies. 2. Food Policy Working Group is an inter-ministerial coordination mechanism that facilitates cross-sectoral participation in the implementation of the National Food Policy and its associated Plan of Action. 3. Food Planning and Monitoring Unit is a Government unit under the Ministry of Food that acts as a secretariat of the Food Policy Monitoring Committee.
The Ministry of Food manages various aspects of food security leaning on well-known pillars of availability, affordability, accessibility, utilization. Currently, the Ministry of Food is addressing nutritional issues by increasing the supply of calorie-rich and vitamin-fortified products. The IOFS Secretariat would explore the possibility of creating Reverse Linkage Programmes, where Bangladesh may share its knowledge on advanced programmes. Parties touched upon the intergovernmental matters between Kazakhstan and Bangladesh, and Director General envisages the strong potential of bilateral relations on agro-food trade. As a final accord, IOFS and the Ministry of Food exchanged souvenirs and agreed Bangladesh would support all programmes and keep working closely with the Secretariat of IOFS upon food programmes. Director General invited the honorable Minister to visit Kazakhstan to discuss details of cooperation and attend IOFS headquarters in the nearest future.
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