Sustainable food systems needed to address malnutrition – Walter

Agriculture minister Matthew Walter
Agriculture minister Matthew Walter

Dominica’s Agriculture Minister, Matthew Walter, has said that an integrated action plan and complimentary interventions in agriculture and sustainable food systems is what is required to address the issue of malnutrition.

The Minister’s suggestion came in a national address as Dominica joined the rest of the International community on Wednesday October 16, 2013 in observing “World Food Day”.

“The immediate and root causes of malnutrition are complex and encompass the broader economic, social, political, cultural and physical environment. Addressing malnutrition, therefore, requires integrated action and complimentary interventions in agriculture and the food system, in natural resource management, in public health and education and in broader policy domains,” he said.

This year “World Food Day” is being celebrated under the theme: “Sustainable Food Systems for Food Security and Nutrition”. The theme was chosen to highlight the fact the “Healthy people depend on Healthy Food Systems”.

In speaking on the importance of “Sustainable Food Systems” the Minister highlighted the need for it to be central to the provision of nutritious diets for all.

“A diverse diet containing balanced amounts of fresh fruits and vegetables, cereals, fats and oils, legumes, and animal source foods, is likely to provide the full range of nutrients needed by most people to lead healthy and active lives,” he pointed out.

The Minister said his Ministry is aware of the contributions to be made by the Food System in addressing the nutrition and health of Dominicans.

He emphasized this point by sharing some recent undertakings by Government.

“In 2007, Dominica joined the rest of the CARICOM region in endorsing the Regional Food and Nutrition Security Policy in October 2010, followed by the Plan of Action in 2011,” he stated.

This he said “was in keeping with a renewed approach by CARICOM in response to the economic shocks brought about by the global recession in 2007, the food and energy crisis in 2007-2008 and a rapidly increasing regional food import bill estimated at US$3.5 billion in 2008”.

Walter said his Ministry remains concerned about the impact of these developments and will continue to work steadfastly towards the enhancement of national food and nutrition security and the development of sustainable food systems.

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  1. Justice and Truth
    October 18, 2013

    How many adults eat beans and peas daily, one or the other? Beans and peas are essential and nutritious.
    Red – kidney beans, pigeon peas and black eye peas. Other favorites of mine are chick peas and lentils.
    We should have some of one daily, a few tablespoons; two I believe is sufficient. This should be part of our daily nutrition. They could be crushed/mashed for young children.

  2. Health Progress
    October 17, 2013

    The Regional Food and Nutrition Security Policy in October 2010 for the Caribbean region is an commendable move by the Governments. I agree fully with Minister Walters that “A diverse diet containing balanced amounts of fresh fruits and vegetables, cereals, fats and oils, legumes, and animal source foods, is likely to provide the full range of nutrients needed by most people to lead healthy and active lives,” ; yet, what I have always been concerned about is the affordability of food in the region, particularly where fruits, nuts and vegetables are concerned. I suggest that an aggressive educational drive in these areas should be implemented. If we say that education is a key, then let us use it in these areas to open the doors of balanced diets and proper nutrition for our people especially when OBESITY and other nutrition deficiencies are fast becoming established threats to the peoples of the Caribbean and in our case Dominica.

  3. Justice and Truth
    October 17, 2013

    Agriculture Minister, I thought the Minister of Health would also address this issue.
    Mal-nutrition, as we know means lack of proper nourishment; poorly nourished.
    I also checked the meaning. It is:
    Inadequate nutrition. A lack of healthy foods in the diet, or an excessive intake of unhealthy foods, leading to physical harm.
    It generally affects babies and young children who may die from this ailment because their little bodies are not strong enough to combat it. Some adults may also contract it.
    Good health and nourishment commence from the mother’s womb and infancy.
    Pregnant mothers should ensure that they are properly nourished. It is not so much a matter of eating a lot but proper nutrition is absolutely necessary.
    I do not see how complex it is. On the contrary, it is simple. Parents and especially young ones should ensure that their babies and young children are properly fed-nourished.
    After the baby is born, the mother should ensure that she, too, is properly nourished.
    This requires a glass or two of milk, an egg, fresh orange/grapefruit juice, vegetables as also leafy greens, fruits and clean water, the latter, free of bacteria. In simple terms, a little of this and that nourishment will be sufficient to maintain good health.
    The health department should be able to provide education and guidance to the parents especially those who are in a lower-income bracket and should also monitor the mothers accordingly while pregnant and after the birth of their baby up to a certain age.
    These are my simple views on this matter of the maintenance of good health for babies and adults.

  4. some shall eat all
    October 16, 2013

    finally this worthless min is given a topic to talk about agricuture where have been this man, HOW MUCH IS HE PAID TO DO what hes not doing, mr m leave politics alone its not what you can handle,garson moun paix-b zot sot,vieille case goes in hand sot!

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