PESHAWAR: Federal Minister for National Food Security and Research, Sahabzada Mehboob Sultan and FAO Representative in Pakistan, Minà Dowlatchahi unveiled the Food Security and Nutrition Information System (FSNIS) Lab at the Ministry of National Food Security and Research in Islamabad.
The web-based information system is established by the ministry of national food security and research with technical support from Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) will provide a central repository for faster and easier access to food security and nutrition data and analytical products.
The Food Security and Nutrition Information System can be used to capture information for products such as land cover maps, developed by the Government of Pakistan with support from FAO. Launching the Food Security and Nutrition Information System, Federal Minister for National Food Security and Research, Sahabzada Mehboob Sultan said, “ensuring food security is a national goal; Food Security and Nutrition Information System will contribute towards improved policy planning to ensure food security in Pakistan. We appreciate the support provided by FAO to the Ministry of National Food Security and Research.”
The launch was followed by a strategic discussion at the steering committee chaired by Dr Muhammad Hashim Popalzai, Federal Secretary for National Food Security and Research, to take stock on the progress of the Food Security and Nutrition Information System. They identified ways to strengthen policy planning and evidence-based decision-making in areas of food availability, accessibility and consumption at the national and provincial levels. The committee members endorsed the initiative and committed supporting the successful implementation of the Food Security and Nutrition Information System.
“This is an important initiative for the ministry as the Food Security and Nutrition Information System will make consolidated data on indicators of food security and nutrition available for stakeholders. We have put together a team of experts, from the Ministry for National Food Security and Research, and other institutions with support from IFPRI, FAO, and other UN agencies to launch the first-ever web-based information system. Sustainability of this initiative has been ensured through funding from Public Sector Development Programme until 2023, and through non-development budget thereafter,” said Muhammad Hashim Popalzai, while thanking FAO for the initiative.
“This is not only important for the ministry and provincial governments but is a step towards informed policy-making and deciding what information products to provide decision-makers. These will pave the way for data integration, ultimately easing the access and analysis.
The first analytical product will be the report on the State of Food Security and Nutrition in Pakistan 2019, the first national-level publication of its kind modelled on the UN annual flagship publication ‘The State of Food Security and Nutrition in the World’,” said Minà Dowlatchahi. The report will provide an updated status of food and nutrition security of the country and will help the government and development partners in developing appropriate responses. She further added, “The focus of this year’s report will be on improving access to food, which will look into the economic, physical, and social aspects of food access.”