The issue of food fortification has been included in the National Food and Nutrition Security Policy (NFNSP) 2020 and it will also be included in the 8th Five-Year Plan
Bangladesh is marching ahead to achieve the global nutrition targets, said Industries Minister Nurul Majid Mahmud Humayun.
He said the country has achieved immense success in enhancing food safety and developing health and nutrition sectors under the leadership of Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina since 2010.
He further said the hard work of the Bangladeshi people in this regard and the country's success in eradicating malnutrition have already received recognition of the world community.
He made the comments on Friday at a virtual meeting entitled "A Resilient Food System for a time of Crisis-the Role of Fortification" arranged as a part of the Global Summit on Food Fortification.
The programme was jointly organised by the Global Alliance for Improved Nutrition (GAIN) and Micro Nutrient Forum.
Observing that the coronavirus pandemic has harmed people's lives and livelihood worldwide, the industries minister said the Bangladesh government has provided cash assistance, distributed food at cheap price, and strengthened the social security measures to counter adverse effects of the pandemic.
"Besides, a programme to fortify a huge amount of food with vitamin and mineral to overcome 'hidden hunger' is also going on," said Nurul Majid Mahmud Humayun.
He also said Bangladesh is continuing its efforts to eradicate malnutrition. A law was passed in 2013 to make fortifying edible oil with vitamin A mandatory, while the cabinet has approved Iodized Salt Act 2020 to fill the iodine deficiency.
As a result of these initiatives, 95% of packaged edible oil and 41% drummed edible oil has come under vitamin A fortification programme.
The issue of food fortification has been included in National Food and Nutrition Security Policy (NFNSP) 2020 and it will also be included in the eighth five-year plan, said the minister.
The government is currently advancing with a plan to realise a programme of fortifying wheat and corn flour with vitamin A, which will hugely improve the nutrition level of the marginal people.
The minister also said the government is interested in increasing the production of bio-fortified crops. Rice fortified with zinc helps to fill the zinc deficiency in human body. So, the government is putting emphasis on production and consumption of this rice.
The Ministry of Industries, GAIN, other development organisations, and private sectors are working together to improve the nutrition situation of Bangladeshi people, he added.
Indonesia's Development Planning Minister Dr Suharso Monoarfa, Nigerian Health Minister Dr Osagie Ehanire, Mozambique's Industry and Commerce Minister Carlos Mesquita, Gambia's Health Minister Ahmadou Lamin Samayeh, among others, spoke at the meeting moderated by Chief Nutritionist of USAID Shawn Baker, said a press release from the industries ministry.