Pak urges to strengthen its food systems transformation process

By Staff Reporter | Islamabad Post Sep 5, 2023

 In order to transform Pakistan’s Food Systems to address food security challenges, the Government of Pakistan in collaboration with the Global Alliance for Improved Nutrition (GAIN) launches “Pakistan Subnational Food Systems Dashboard”. In this regard, Pakistan Agricultural Research Council (PARC), Ministry of National Food Security & Research (M/o NFS&R) and GAIN hosted the inauguration ceremony of the Pakistan Subnational Food Systems Dashboard (PSFSD). Pakistan Subnational Food Systems Dashboard is built upon the global Food Systems Dashboard through collaborative efforts between GAIN, FAO, Johns Hopkins University, and the Columbia Climate School at Columbia University.

The event showcased the Government of Pakistan’s high-level political ownership for strengthening Pakistan’s food systems transformation process. The event was commenced by an inaugural ceremony and ribbon cutting by Captain (Retd) Muhammad Mahmood, Federal Secretary, Ministry of National Food Security & Research (M/o NFS&R) of the Food Systems Secretariat at PARC, which will now house the Pakistan Subnational Food Systems Dashboard (PSFSD).

The Global Alliance for Improved Nutrition (GAIN) is working closely with the Pakistan Agricultural Research Council (PARC), the Ministry of National Food Security & Research to support the Government of Pakistan’s efforts to strengthen the food systems transformation process and ensure improved access and availability of safe and nutritious food. The Pakistan Subnational Food Systems Dashboard holds the potential to track the progress and accountability of action plans that support food systems transformation, support policymakers in strengthening the country’s policy landscape, and ultimately benefit people at risk of hunger, malnutrition, economic and climate shocks, and environmental degradation.

Federal Secretary, Captain (Retd) Muhammad Mahmood highlighted the importance of authentic data for the formulation of public polices and the programmes. He appreciated the role of Global Alliance for Improved Nutrition (GAIN) and the other partners including FAO, Johns Hopkins University, and the Columbia Climate School for their wonderful support for the establishment of Pakistan Food System dash board and he appreciated PARC’s technical role in hosting the dashboard and scaling this up.

In his welcome speech Chairman, PARC, Dr. Ghulam Muhammad Ali apprised the efforts of all stakeholders and development partners especially GAIN, FAO and WFP for their contribution in developing this prototype Subnational Food System Dashboard.

Country Director GAIN, Farrah Naz highlighted the importance of data and ensured GAIN support in future policy review and formulation, she also appraised the PARC leadership in taking forward Pakistan dashboard. Ms. Catia Pedro, Program Coordinator (Food Systems Dashboard) at GAIN and Mr. Faiz Rasool, Senior Policy Advisor at GAIN led the technical discussion and shared the importance and role of the Food Systems Dashboard in transforming Pakistan’s food systems through data and evidence. Country leadership from FAO, WFP, and GAIN provided technical insights on Pakistan’s research gap and data collection challenges, and the opportunities ahead for transformative policymaking which enhances food security, builds climate resilience, and brings economic prosperity.

Member Social Sciences Division PARC, Dr. Ghulam Sadiq Afridi, discussed the way forward for the leadership of PARC for the management and sustainability of the PSFSD and plan to create its uptake by institutions and research departments. Director (Statistics) the Pakistan Bureau of Statistics, Naseer Ahmed, acknowledged the role of the Stakeholder Advisory Group in developing the PSFSD into a comprehensive, credible, and usable platform.

A diverse range of participants from government, academia, research, civil society organisations, and the development sector participated in the event. Key representatives highlighted the importance of the Pakistan Subnational Food Systems Dashboard in bridging the evidence gap in the country by collecting national and local (city/district) data across a range of key food systems indicators to support stakeholders with the data they need to better understand and take actions for national, provincial, and local food systems.

Leading partners from the federal government and development partners agreed that the way forward is a commitment to using data and evidence for decision-making, policy formulation and multisectoral collaboration to transform Pakistan’s food systems.

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