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Planning Commission of Pakistan in collaboration with Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations is set to launch ‘Pakistan dietary guideline for better nutrient’, in order to provide dietary characteristics to overcome the malnutrition and ensure the availability of healthy food for all age groups.
The initiative is also expected to serve as a nationwide solution to overcome malnutrition, stunted growth, and food deficiencies among the women and children, alike.
The guidelines have been drafted and would be most likely be launched by the end of September as the research work on the revision of food composition table has also been finalized, said a senior official in the Planning Commission of Pakistan.
He further said that the research work was conducted in 2 agro-ecological zones having information about 350 raw and cooked food items with 25 nutrition parameters to ensure strict quality control.
He also said that the linkages with academia were also strengthened.
Apparently, there are 52 national universities in collaboration with Scaling Up Nutrient Programme- an international initiative that aims to conduct studies and research on high quality food and nutrient filled fortification to ensure availability of proper food for children and women of the country.
Meanwhile, he informed that under food fortification programme, the Planning Commission was working with 250 flour mills in the Punjab Province and were provided micro-feeders to mix iron, folic acid and zinc, besides their capacity building and training to ensure the strict quality control. So far, he said that about 100,000 tons of the wheat flour were fortified with the these micro-feeders, whereas the initiatives were in progress to the capacity building of governmental organization in order to ensure the provision of standard food.
In order to address the issues of malnutrition and stunted growth in the children, pre-mix of Vitamin D in the vegetable ghee and edible oil were also started in 76 oil and ghee mills in three provinces including Punjab, Sindh and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa. These mills had produced about 950,000 tons of edible oil and ghee, besides the capacity building of the workforce to produce nutrient filled ghee and oil for cementing the initiatives for human resource development and improving the index, he remarked.