Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Agriculture, Food, Fisheries and Water Resource Management, Michael King (FP)

Barbados has taken the first steps towards the development of a Food and Nutrition Security Policy and Action Plan.

And, the Policy will be buttressed by ???The Right to Food’, a basic human right where persons must have access to adequate, healthy, nutritious and quality food.

The Policy and Action Plan will be developed in collaboration with the National Nutrition Centre of the Ministry of Health, with technical assistance provided by the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) of the United Nations.

During the opening ceremony of a seminar entitled ???The Right to Food‘ this morning at UN House, Marine Gardens, Christ Church, Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Agriculture, Food, Fisheries and Water Resource Management, Michael King, stressed the need for such a policy, noting that hunger remained one of the globe’s foremost challenges, with 13.1 per cent of the total world population, or one in seven persons going to bed hungry on a daily basis.

"With regard to the Caribbean, the FAO has reported that one in four persons was undernourished. According to the UNAIDS Global Report of 2010, hunger is number one on the list of the world’s top 10 health risks, killing more people every year than AIDS, malaria and tuberculosis combined", he stated.

The Permanent Secretary told the gathering, which included officials from the Ministries of Agriculture and Health, representatives of the UN and Non-Governmental Organisations, that the Policy and Action Plan, which builds from efforts at the regional level, would form part of the Ministry’s White Paper for the Agricultural Sector.

"The Food and Nutrition Security Policy for Barbados will be part of a larger policy to be developed for the agricultural sector through the preparation of a White Paper on Agriculture. The policy will be designed to reposition the agricultural sector given the global and environmental challenges facing the sector," he noted.

Mr. King maintained that the quest towards achieving food security could not be the sole responsibility of the agricultural sector alone but was a national issue.

"[This] will require the cooperation and collaboration of various sectors, as well as our social partners, working hand-in-hand with one common goal – namely assuring that the individual’s right to safe and nutritious food, in sufficient quantities for a healthy and productive existence, becomes a reality," he said.


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