Bhubaneswar : The United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) hosted a multi-stakeholder interactive online consultation session on food security in Odisha with over 80 policymakers, Government actors, NGO partners, academicians, and corporates participating. The objective of the consultation was to seek feedback from different stakeholders to make the WFP Strategic Plan 2023-2027 even more inclusive and effective.
Initiating the deliberation, Mr. Bishow Parajuli, Country Director of WFP India said, “We are glad for our partnership with Odisha as the State is very much focused on ensuring food security to all. Odisha has been a center of innovative pilots and schemes for improving food and nutrition security. The world has taken note of the innovative programs launched by Odisha, and how these schemes provided a food security lifeline during the current pandemic times. Application of biometric technology in making TDPS error-free, rice fortification, nutritious food in MDM and Anganwadi centers, State food security program, women-led take-home ration production model are some such interventions in Odisha”.
Addressing the Session Chief Secretary Sri Suresh Chandra Mahapatra said, “Government of Odisha is fully committed to reducing poverty and malnutrition. During last years, there has been a significant reduction in rural poverty, and food security has improved to great extent”. He added that “partnership between WFP and Odisha has been very effective since last two decades, and six more partnership agreements in new areas have been initiated in the last year alone”.
Sri Mahapatra asked WFP to undertake more technological applications for enhancing the outreach of the food security net and improving access to food security, more particularly for poor and vulnerable sections. He emphasized aligning the strategic plan towards SDG targets and making it more outcome-oriented. Sri Mahapatra assured that the Government of Odisha would continue working with WFP in the coming years for the implementation of the strategic plan.
Recalling his working with UNDP, Development Commissioner Sri Pardeep Kumar Jena advised targeting the specific areas and communities that are more vulnerable for food and nutrition security and bringing them at par with the rapidly improving state parameters. He emphasized on expeditious achievement of SDG-2 through partnerships.
Among others, Additional Chief Secretary Water Resources Smt Anu Garg, Additional Chief Secretary Forest and Environment Dr Mona Sharma, Principal Secretary School and Mass Education, and Information and Public Relations Sri Bishnupada Sethi, Principal Secretary Scheduled Tribe and Scheduled Caste Development Smt Ranjana Chopra, Principal Secretary Food Supplies and Consumer Welfare Sri Vir Vikram Yadav, Secretary, Mission Shakti Smt Sujata Karthikeyan, Secretary, Fisheries and Animal Resource Development Sri R Raghu Prasad, Director, Agriculture and Food Production Dr. M Muthukumar, WFP Deputy Country Director Mr Eric Kenefick, Odisha State Head WFP Sri Himanshu Bal, Director Social Welfare Sri Aravind Agrawal, Member Secretary, PHDMA Smt Roopa Roshan Sahoo, Director OLM Smt Manasi Nimbhal, Civil Society activist and Founder CYSD Mr. Jagadananda, CSR Head Tata Steel Dr. Ambika Nanda, Director, Central Institute for Women in Agriculture Dr. Anil Kumar, Dr. Shruti Mohapatra, Director, SWABHIMAN (Disability Resource Centre) gave their inputs for the Strategic Plan.
The Country Director WFP Mr. Parajuli said that the Strategic plan would be finalized soon in collaboration with the Government of Odisha incorporating the inputs availed from today’s interactive session.