NEW DELHI – The Ministry of Consumer Affairs, Food and Public Distribution and the United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) are hosting a two-day workshop on best practices in Targeted Public Distribution System (TPDS) and Food Fortification, May 10-11.
Senior government officials from several states, district magistrates and representatives from civil society and the private sector are attending the workshop, where speakers will showcase interventions in TPDS and food fortification in different parts of the country and the world.
“India has the knowledge and expertise to guide other countries dealing with hunger and malnutrition, especially in the sub-continent,” says Kenro Oshidari, WFP Regional Director for Asia, during the inaugural session. “The benefits of replicating the successful initiatives in India are manifold and can potentially pull many poor and vulnerable communities out of food and nutrition insecurity across the world.”
WFP’s project in Rayagada, Odisha - where biometrics technology using fingerprints, iris and facial recognition has improved distribution - will be showcased at the workshop, along with food fortification initiatives to address micronutrient deficiencies.
The workshop was opened by the Minister of State (Independent Charge) for Consumer Affairs, Food and Public Distribution, Professor K V Thomas.
The event plans to provide a platform for sharing evidence on what has worked best in improving the reach, effectiveness and transparency of food-based social safety nets (specifically TPDS) to reach a consensus and a follow-up plan for implementing “best practices” to strengthen TPDS generally and to integrate food fortification in these schemes, at the national, regional and state levels.
“Given the government’s commitment towards the most needy, we are proud to work with them to strengthen safety net programmes for the poor. We are confident that with innovative solutions, together we will be able to reach the poorest of the poor with better nutrition,” explains Mihoko Tamamura, WFP India’s Country Director and Representative.
The first day of the workshop is dedicated to TPDS, focusing on technological applications to improve the system and mechanisms to monitor and manage the supply chain. Successful models of integrating food fortification with the TPDS and other food-based schemes feature on the second day.
Plenary sessions will address broader issues regarding food insecurity in India and the global context, as well as the latest policy developments in addressing food insecurity in India.
WFP is the world's largest humanitarian agency fighting hunger worldwide. Each year, on average, WFP assists more than 90 million people in more than 70 countries.
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The valedictory session, which will be chaired by Professor M S Swaminathan, Member, Rajya Sabha and Chairman, MS Swaminathan Research Foundation, will deal with the next steps and the way forward for replicating the successful initiatives presented during the workshop.