Securing safe and nutritious food is a major challenge to achieving Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), said speakers at a roundtable meeting on Thursday.
They further said although Bangladesh has achieved significant development in different sectors including per capita income, it is lagging behind in fulfilling the demand for nutritious food.
Titled "Sustainable Development Goal: The promise of Food and Nutrition," the event was held at the CA Bhaban in Karwan Bazar, Dhaka, according to a press release. Switzerland based international non-profit organisation Global Alliance for Improved Nutrition (GAIN) organised the meeting.
The economic cost of malnutrition is around Tk7,000 crore per year as it reduces people's productivity, the speakers said.
They added 31 percent children of the country under the age of five years have stunted growth and 22 percent of them are underweight. People living in the slum areas of Dhaka and women working in the RMG sector are also suffering from malnutrition.
People of the Chattogram Hill Tracts are also facing the same problem.
Lawmaker Md Mujibul Haque, chairman of the parliamentary Standing Committee on the Ministry of Labour and Employment, attended as the chief guest at the event.
"The way Bangladesh is developing, we will achieve the SDGs within 2030. We hope that the overall nutrition scenario will also improve by then."
The roundtable meeting was arranged to find realistic ways for fulfilling the demand for nutritious and safe food in Bangladesh.
Among others, Ambassador of the Netherlands to Bangladesh Harry Verweij, Secretary of the Planning Commission Zakir Hossain Akanda and Additional Secretary at the Ministry of Agriculture Ruhul Amin Talukder, were also present at the roundtable meeting.