Amid widespread allegations of irregularities in the distribution system of rice at Tk 10 per kg, Food Minister Advocate Kamrul Islam Wednesday said the government was trying to solve irregularities through taking stern actions against the culprits.
"The process will be more transparent within next three months," he said, addressing a seminar in the capital, claiming that the social safety net programme was supporting a lot of impecunious families in the country.
He also pointed out that the country is not yet self-reliant in food, but the government's target at present is to ensure food for all. "We're now working on it," he added.
The minister also urged the people to avoid fast food.
Right to Food Bangladesh and Christian Aid Bangladesh jointly organised the seminar titled 'Responsible Food Habit for Food Security: Role of Individual and the State'in the capital, presided over by Vice-Chairman of Right to Food Bangladesh Khondokar Ibrahim Khaled.
Senior Research Fellow of Bangladesh Institute of Development Studies (BIDS) Dr. Nazneen Ahmed presented the Keynote Paper in light of her recently conducted study titled 'Food Consumption and Wastage'.
The program was also attended, among others, by chairman of Bangladesh Food Safety Authority (BFSA) Mohammad Mahfuzul Hoque, Professor, Institute of Nutrition and Food Science of Dhaka University Dr Khurshid Jahan and Vice-chairman of Right to Food Bangladesh Mohammad Helaluddin.
Speakers underscored the need for greater coordination among the government, civil society and citizen's organisations to ensure safe food for all.
They said lack of consciousness about food habit, lack of nutritious foods and food wastage are some of the problems of ensuring safe food. Besides, they added, there are questions about different dimensions of the government's policies, their implementation and consequences, which could be effectively mitigated through ensuring transparency, accountability and proper coordination.
Special attention should also be given on vulnerable segments of the society, including impecunious people, cleaning staffs, women agricultural labours, and the people of coastal areas and hill districts.
Khondokar Ibrahim Khaled laid importance on conducting more researches on food security to control food quality and formulate food laws.
He stressed the need for proper coordination among the government, citizen, society and general people as formulating a law is the responsibility of the government but the responsibility of implementation lies on the people.
Mr khaled also said sufficient advertisements are also needed to raise consciousness about ensuring safety food. Mohammad Mahfuzul Hoque said foods are wasted intentionally or unintentionally. The society will be greatly benefitted if food wastages could be stopped.
Dr Nazneen Ahmed said she conducted a survey on some parts of Barisal district where she found that about 60 per cent people have surplus cooked food after their consumption, which is a great waste.