Kathmandu, June 7
Minister for Agriculture and Livestock Development Chakrapani Khanal, said that the lack of cooperation and coordination among various ministries has been obstructing the proper implementation of policies in the country.
The agriculture minister stated that the sole effort of only the agriculture ministry is not enough to regulate the agricultural sector. The gap that exists between ministries that are supposed to work together has been creating problems in implementing policies, he said while addressing the 11th National Food Safety Day.
“We are putting our effort to regulate the sector on issues related to consumers’ health and life. However, there is lack of coordination among ministries themselves and the agriculture ministry is trying to bridge that gap,” Khanal said, adding, “Consumers’ right to healthy food will be prioritised by the ministry.”
He further assured the Department of Food Technology and Quality Control (DoFTQC) of the ministry’s cooperation to make consumers aware about food safety.
Meanwhile, Minister Khanal also informed that the ministry has started evaluating the suppliers in the market. “Those who are doing well will be awarded and those who are supplying inedible food in the market will be penalised,” he said, adding, “The ministry will not compromise on food safety.”
However, what needs to be noted is that although the minister has been promising consumers on food safety, adulterated food is still being supplied in the market. Moreover, the culprits are still being punished based on the Food Act that was drafted in 1967. On this front, Khanal further made a commitment to conduct stringent market monitoring in the coming days. “We will soon be introducing a new Food Act that is more contextual and will have stricter punishment for offenders.”
Unlike the previous years, this year the DoFTQC celebrated the 11th National Food Safety Day across the country. Previously, the campaign used to be held only in Kathmandu, but this year the campaign was organised across the country under the supervision of DoFTQC division offices.
Under this campaign, DoFTQC organised several road shows, awareness campaigns, educational seminars and workshops.
Similarly, interaction programmes with stakeholders were also conducted under this campaign. Meanwhile, capacity enhancement training has been provided to the staffers of DoFTQC under this campaign.
As food is very essential for humans and the opportunity to consume healthy food is a fundamental right, DoFTQC has been organising this campaign to make people aware about food safety, said Sanjeev Karn, director general of DoFTQC.
A version of this article appears in print on June 08, 2019 of The Himalayan Times.