Ministry launches national food systems consultations

Irbid_Food consultaions
Stakeholders meet in Irbid Governorate on Monday for a dialogue session on food systems. (Photo: Handout from the UN)
AMMAN — The Ministry of Agriculture held a dialogue session on Jordan’s food system on Monday, ahead of a national summit that is planned to be held in Amman.اضافة اعلان

The dialogue was the first of a series that will be held in cooperation with the UN before the UN Food Systems Summit scheduled to take place this year, according to a statement from the Ministry of Agriculture.

There are also two sub-regional dialogues planned for Balqa and Karak. The sessions aim to provide an opportunity for all stakeholders, from producers to consumers, to discuss the sustainability of food systems in the Kingdom. The participants will discuss enhancing food systems resilience, promoting equitable livelihoods, and access to safe food for all.

“The COVID-19 outbreak emphasized the importance and need for world countries to work together not only to combat the pandemic, but also to address and reduce its economic, social, and environmental impacts,” The Minister of Agriculture Khaled Hunaifat, said in the statement. 

The minister added that Jordan has committed to achieving the UN’s 2030 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), which are related to the issues of food security, hunger, and nutrition.

“We must develop plans and strategies to transform food systems to ensure the adoption of healthy and affordable diets as part of the efforts required to put an end to hunger and all forms of malnutrition alike,” Hunaifat said.

In 2015, the UN adopted 17 SDGs to be achieved before 2030.  Goal two of those 17 goals is to end hunger by 2030 and reduce malnutrition and double agricultural productions.

“Our food systems should be transformed to be more inclusive, resilient, and sustainable. This will be one of the key topics of the Food Systems Summit, hosted by the UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres in September this year,” Anders Pedersen, the UN resident and humanitarian coordinator in Jordan, said in the statement.

Jordan is one of the most water-scarce countries in the world, and national experts have been sounding the alarm in Jordan after the Kingdom experienced a lackluster rainy season this past year.

Acting secretary general of the Water Authority of Jordan, Ahmad Olimat, previously told Jordan News that “it (the government) must work efficiently on food security strategies and have real future plans,” in order to ensure Jordan benefits from its agricultural diversity.

The World Food Program’s Deputy Country Director in Jordan Jonathan Campbell said in the statement that countries need “strong and efficient food systems, producing and transforming food as well as delivering to consumers with maximum efficiency and minimal losses.”

“Many factors are involved in sustainable food systems including agriculture, water management, supply chains, food waste, climate change issues, employment, and social welfare systems. All of these have to function well to ensure people have access to adequate food and nutrition.”

The UN secretary-general will convene the Food Systems Summit this year with the aim of maximizing the benefits of a food systems approach across the UN’s entire 2030 Agenda and meeting the challenges of climate change.

The summit aims to provide a platform for ambitious new actions, innovative solutions, and plans to transform food systems and leverage these shifts to deliver progress across all of the SDGs, according to the statement.

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