Transforming food system for healthy diet stressed

Kathmandu, December 11

The National Planning Commission today co-convened a high-level roundtable meeting in partnership with the Global Panel on Agriculture and Food Systems for Nutrition to discuss ways of transforming food system to provide healthy diet to the people of Nepal.

The discussion was chaired by NPC member Dil Bahadur Gurung and Global Panel member Prof Srinath Reddy.

In addition to input from participants of the government bodies and other institutions, key development partners, including the UN, private sector and civil society representatives also provided their inputs.

“The Multi-sectoral Nutrition Plan aims to reduce malnutrition so that it no longer becomes an impeding factor towards enhancement of human capital and for overall socio-economic development,” Gurung said.

The roundtable meeting discussed how decentralisation provided an opportunity to bring together various policies on nutrition and food security.

According to a press release issued by the NPC, there were challenges in capacity building at the provincial and local level, and the government needed to strengthen food security and  the nutrition steering committees at federal and provincial levels.

“Healthy food should be made affordable to the poor, and efforts should be made to ensure the right of indigenous people to access land, water and forest. We still lack knowledge about proper diet. We prefer traditional food, but that is becomes challenging as it requires lot of hard work and the burden of growing crops and preparing food falls upon women in a family,” stated the release.

The meeting also stressed the need to accelerate progress through Multisector Nutrition Plan-II, to meet targets in all forms of malnutrition, to reduce hunger and contribute to SDG-2.

“Trend of consuming fast food is increasing, so there is greater need of making people aware about nutrition value. Good road networks can improve access to nutritious food.

There is a need for better disaggregated data to know the accurate situation of people in all the provinces,” the release read.

At least 36 per cent  children under five years of age remain stunted due to lack of essential nutrients in Nepal. There has been also a rise in obesity and diet-related non-communicable diseases, according to the NPC.