The Civil Society Scaling Up Nutrition Alliance has urged the government to ensure that the Food-based dietary guidelines once finalized are distributed to all institutions engaged in farming such as the Zambia National Service and the Zambia Correctional Service to influence nutrition-sensitive crop production.
CSO-SUN Country Coordinator Mathews Mhuru said that the Guidelines being developed by the Ministry of Agriculture with support from the Food and Agriculture Organization have potential to change the nutrition picture of Zambia as they provide advice on foods, food groups and dietary patterns to provide the required nutrients to the general public to promote overall health and prevent chronic diseases.
According to the Ministry of Agriculture, these guidelines will be published in the first quarter of 2020 and Mr Mhuru is confident they will influence food production by key institutions such as the ZNS and the Zambia Correctional Service.
He said every effort being made by the Zambian government to make the country food secure should be guided by these guidelines which in countries where they have been implemented have helped to reduce the high levels of malnutrition in both adults and children.
Mr. Mhuru said it is gratifying that the Food-based dietary guidelines apart from prohibiting the production of unhealthy foods are also intended to establish a basis for public food and nutrition, health and agricultural policies and nutrition education programs to foster healthy eating habits and lifestyles.
He noted that diet is and remains one of the single most important contributors to malnutrition in Zambia, which itself is influenced by many factors, from personal preferences to the broad national availability of foods.
“It is further gratifying that the Zambia Correctional Service, like the Zambia National Service, is readying itself to break new ground in food production as directed by President Edgar Lungu to open up more virgin land to enhance crop production to make the country food secure”, he added.
More than 100 countries worldwide have developed food-based dietary guidelines that are adapted to their nutrition situation, food availability, culinary cultures, and eating habits.
You little brains! Diversified diet is a function of food systems. Malnutrition is inherently high among households of small scale/peasant farmers, paradoxically this group contribute 80-90% towards national basket of food Staples mainly corn which is highly subsidized by government. Addressing malnutrition would require diversified agriculture through sustainable Intensification programs. Proposing ZNS for increased food security, is suggesting bloated government expenditure, laughable! isn’t? What we need is to provide suitable environment more private sector engagement in mechanized commercial farming of diversity food systems foodgrain corn, rice, sorghum, millet, legumes, and foodtubers cassava, yam, potatoes. Serious issues require addressing is postharvest food reserves…
Serious issues require addressing is postharvest food reserves principally area of food technology and engineering.
What percentage does ZNS + Prisons contribute to the national food basket? How are they going to influence eating habits of Zambians simply by growing certain crops?
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