An unhealthy nation is an infertile nation.
Those were the words conveyed by the Acting Director General of Agriculture, Benjamin Shing, on Wednesday 8th November, during the Vanuatu Food Policy Forum held at Ramada Resort.
The consultation maps the progress on the Food Policy, identifying gaps and plan further action to develop, strengthen and monitor its implementation.
Coordinated by DG Shing, the discussions were fired off with various presentations leading to the Food Policy, the ‘Gudfala Kaikai Policy’ proposed by the Government last year.
“Our health depends entirely on our diets,” DG Shing said
“The Gudfala Kaikai Policy is the first ever Government built policy which webs in all the sub-sector policies, such as health, nutrition, production, food safety and hygiene under a national policy document. This bond allows the government to approach issues of nutrition and food security in a consistent manner.
“Today we are looking at strategies to bring forward the policy to its implementation so we can commence work upon the policy.
Mr. George Pakoa from the Ministry of Finance/Customs delivered his presentation on the use of increasing added taxes on sugary drinks to limit customers in purchasing the drinks, thus reducing the growth of NCDs.
He adds, “while implementing the issue, we are addressing the issue”.
Presentation by Fine Foods Limited, delivered by representative of CEO Cornelia Wylie, Carolyn, addressed the issue of food aid distribution after disaster strikes as a primarily factor that needs to be considered,”we need to stop sending food aid like crackers, rice and noodles which is very unhealthy and leads to NCDs”.
DG Shing conversed the importance of food production from “farm to fork” to always be fresh and palatable.
“Discussions today is simply to find entry points in understanding food security, nutrition and health, in order to ensure a healthy and productive country.
“As a matter of fact, this is our first ever discussion forum but, it certainly won’t be the last. The policy is already present, but the strategies discussed and agreed upon today will actively bring it to life.”