Wednesday 23 January, 2019

Price of healthy foods must drop, says Agriculture Minister

(thrid from right) BAS President James Paul and (second from right) Minister of Agriculture Indar Weir at the World Food Day church service.

(thrid from right) BAS President James Paul and (second from right) Minister of Agriculture Indar Weir at the World Food Day church service.

The Ministry of Agriculture and the Ministry of Health must work together to enhance the lives and health of citizens.

Asserting such was the Minister of Agriculture and Food Security Indar Weir today at a church service at St. Martin Anglican Church in St. Philip to launch celebrations for World Food Day 2018.

Against the backdrop of global statistics, Weir said that more work must be done to make healthy foods more accessible, that is, more affordable to everyone in all socioeconomic classes.

He said:

“While some are getting too little food, others are getting too much of the wrong food. We know often the nutritional quality and value of food are reflected in the price of the food, thereby putting commodities out of the reach for poor people

“This means that there is a need for intervention to improve affordability.”

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Weir pledged collaboration between the two ministries “to enhance human health and well-being.”

He said that the link between Health and Agriculture means that they can bring necessary policies and programmes to help improve the health of the nation, which has a significant number of residents living with non-communicable diseases such as diabetes, obesity, cardiovascular diseases and hypertension.

Speaking on behalf of his ministry, he added, “We recognise that agriculture has a significant role to play in reducing hunger, however, the purpose of agriculture is not only to grow crops and produce livestock for food but to help develop healthy, well-nourished people.

“One of the most important tasks in agriculture is the production of food in sufficient quantities and quality to enable human beings to lead healthy, productive lives.”

World Food Day this year will be celebrated on Tuesday, October 16, 2018.  It is “one of the most celebrated days in the United Nations calendar in support of the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) mission to use these particular day to raise awareness of world hunger in regards to our approaches that can alleviate or help to end world hunger considering the theme ‘Our actions, Our future – A zero hunger world by 2030 is possible’.

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Stating that it is estimated that “one out of eight persons who go to bed hungry every night and more than 99 Million children under the age of 5 are still undernourished and underfed,” the Minister reiterated that despite significant progress has been made in terms of attaining the second sustainable development goal of zero hunger by 2030, “more needs to be done, [so] this goal remains on the agenda.”

 

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