NFNS draft: Call to include stern action against smugglers and manufacturers of substandard food

KARACHI: The Union of Small and Medium Enterprises (UNISAME) on Thursday urged the Ministry of National Food Security & Research (MNFSR), which finalised the draft of National Food and Nutrition Security Policy (NFNS), to include strict action against smuggling and manufacturers of substandard, fake and counterfeits brands of food items and define the monitoring aspect more clearly in the policy.

UNISAME in a statement pointed out that the food policy needed to be comprehensive and effective, while the ministry also required to consider negative aspects, causes, malpractices and corruption and take measures to correct the system from grass-root level, right from the stage of kitchen items to exports and apply the tools of quality control, pricing, standardization and distribution.

President UNISAME Zulfikar Thaver said whilst the core objective of the policy is to reduce the current food insecurity situation by 50 percent till 2030 and to bring down the poverty and food insecurity to zero level by 2050, it is pertinent to note that unless smuggling of food items to Afghanistan, Iran and other neighbouring countries is checked, the insecurity will prevail due to shortages.

He said the MNFSR also needs to work in close co-ordination with the Pakistan Standard Quality Control Authority (PSQCA) to check the menace of substandard goods under fake brands.

He appreciated the impressive long-term goal proposed in NFNSP to ensure that all Pakistanis have physical and economic access to enough nutrition foods on sustainable basis for an active, healthy life, the ways in which food is produced and distributed shall be environment friendly and sustainable, both the production and consumption of food should be governed by social values that are just and equitable as well as moral, ethical and uphold human dignity, reduce the current food insecurity proportion with a focus on halving malnutrition by 2030 and to bring poverty, food insecurity proportion to zero level by 2050.

The other outstanding features of the new policy also emphasises on physical, social and economic access to adequate food at all times. Food utilisation and nutrition dimension of food security means that food is properly used, proper food processing and storage techniques are employed, adequate knowledge of nutrition and childcare techniques which exist are applied diligently.

The MNFSR needs to review the draft urgently as very little time is left.

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