The National Food Policy
The National Food Policy of 2006 is Bangladesh’s main policy document on food security. It represents an important departure from the past by applying a comprehensive and integrated approach to food security, including the availability, access and utilization dimension of food security. While previous efforts focused almost exclusively on increasing national food production, the 2006 policy broadens the Government’s approach to food security by outlining three main objectives:
From concept to approval
Following the 1999 Development Forum held in Paris, which emphasized the need for a comprehensive food security policy, the Government of Bangladesh established a Task Force of nine ministries. Based on the recommendations of this Task Force, an initial draft of the National Food Policy was produced in 2001. After consultations with a Parliamentary Sub-Committee on food, and with support from the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, the draft went through a series of revisions between 2002 and 2004.
The National Food Policy was finally approved by the Cabinet on 14 August 2006.
Focus and design
The National Food Policy emphasizes the important linkages between availability, access, and nutrition outcomes, in line with the definition of food security adopted by the World Food Summit of 1996. It also recognises that a combination of measures is needed to effectively reduce hunger and malnutrition, e.g. providing immediate access to food to the most vulnerable and promoting agricultural development and income growth.
The Policy represents an unprecedented effort to address food security in a comprehensive manner in Bangladesh and fills the gaps of previous food and nutrition policy frameworks. The overarching goal of the National Food Policy is to ensure, in coordination with partner ministries, development partners and NGOs, “dependable and sustained food security for all people of Bangladesh at all times”.