Remedying malnutrition: ‘Half of region’s people vulnerable to malnutrition’

Lansa has been working on improving agriculture and food chains to advance nutrition in the region.

Our Correspondent August 17, 2014


University of Agriculture Faisalabad (UAF) Vice Chancellor (VC) Professor Iqrar Ahmed Khan was elected as the chairman of Leveraging Agriculture for Nutrition in South Asia (LANSA).

The announcement was made during a meeting of the Lansa Advisory Group at the UAF. Several agricultural, nutritional and food experts from Afghanistan, Bangladesh, India and Pakistan attended the meeting.

Lansa is an international research partnership working on improving agriculture and food chains to advance nutrition in the region. It focuses on developing strategies and policies aimed at curbing malnutrition among children in South Asia.

Khan said over 50 percent of the region’s population was vulnerable to malnutrition. He said stakeholder-engagement was necessary to overcome the challenge. Khan said the population of the region was reeling under nutritional deficiencies. He said ingenious research and its dissemination could play a crucial role fostering development in the region. Khan said the countries of the region had to collaborate to eradicate malnutrition by 2030.

Dr MS Swaminathan, an Indian scientist, said the application of modern agricultural techniques and technology would increase rural development. He stressed the need to further cooperation in agriculture, food and nutrition. Dr Swaminathan said special attention should be paid to soil fertility as it was a determining factor in agriculture.

Kandahar University Vice Chancellor Dr Hakimi said the education system had to be revamped to educate the public about modern agricultural techniques. He said food production had shown an upward trend despite a decrease in land devoted to farming.

Dr Syeduz Zaman of Lansa Bangladesh said the organisation had been researching on agricultural food value chains and nutrition sensitive agriculture.

Haris Gazdar of Lansa Pakistan said the organisation had been running a programme titled Improving Nutrition through Agriculture. He said the themes of the project were innovation systems, fragility and gender and nutrition.

External Linkages Director Ashfaq Ahmed Chattha, Office of Research, Innovation and Commercialisation Director Asif Ali and National Institute of Food Science and Technology Director General Masood Sadiq Butt also spoke on the occasion.

Published in The Express Tribune, August 18th,2014.



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