Dhaka needs a sustainable food management plan to ensure everyone in the city has access to nutritious and safe food, speakers said at a programme.
Food systems include production, processing, transportation, and food consumption, requiring policy support to ensure access to safe food, they said in a virtual dialogue on Tuesday, organised by the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), ICLEI South Asia, and the Brac Urban Development Programme, in association with the two Dhaka city corporations.
FAO is co-organising several independent dialogues in Bangladesh ahead of the United Nation's first ever Food Systems Summit which will be held later this year.
John Taylor, chief technical adviser to the Dhaka Food System project, said, "In order to have a sustainable food system for
Dhaka it is critical that everyone in the city has access to nutritious and safe food but the urban poor deserve special attention and specific pro poor policies. The poor struggle to access not just nutritious and safe food, but enough food, every day. We need policies to support them."
Dhaka North City Corporation Mayor Atiqul Islam told the dialogue, Mohammadpur Townhall Market can be reshaped as a model for the food management chain. The city corporation is interested in working with the FAO and is ready to lend a hand.
The dialogue featured five parallel sessions, and the topics were: ensuring access to safe and nutritious food for all, ensuring sustainable consumption patterns, advancing equitable livelihoods, building resilience to vulnerabilities, shocks and stress, and urban poverty and food security.
The urban poor will have to be provided jobs as food security is crucial for them, speakers said in the sessions.
They added that there will be a rush to urban areas from villages for employment in the post pandemic era. If there is no preparation in advance to deal with the additional pressure, food security may get disrupted.
The speakers said food systems in many countries are fragile and are now at risk of collapsing, due to the pandemic. When the food system fails, it becomes a threat to education, health and the economy, as well as human rights, peace and security.