Enthused by India's Food Security Act (FSA) 2013 through the Targeted Public Distribution System (TPDS), Mid-Day Meal (MDM) scheme, and Integrated Child Development Scheme (ICDS) providing food security to millions, a delegation from Nepal is in India to study the world's largest food safety net.
The high-level delegation facilitated by the United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) in Nepal and India in collaboration with the Embassy of Nepal comprises members of Nepal's Ministry of Agriculture and Livestock Development (MoALD), National Planning Commission (NPC), and WFP officials. Dil Bahadur Gurung, Member, NPC, is also part of the visiting team.
"India is a pioneer in institutionalizing the Right To Food approach in the fight against hunger through its Food Security Act. With extensive experience in the implementation of the Act through diverse programmes and policies, India makes the most suitable destination for the Government of Nepal to study and learn various aspects of food safety nets," said leader of the delegation, Mahendra Ray Yadav, Nepal's Minister of Agriculture and Livestock Development.
"This exchange of knowledge and learning that the mission is geared towards embodies the spirit of South-South and triangular cooperation that WFP and India are committed to. The study mission will directly feed into policy processes aimed at improving the food security and nutrition situation in Nepal, contributing to the 2030 agenda of Zero Hunger," said Bishow Parajuli, Representative and Country Director, WFP in India.
"Another highlight of the study visit is the opportunity for Nepalese delegation to engage with India's Ministry of Agriculture on India's growth story that enables food self-sufficiency and support for the Right to Food for two third of India's population," Parajuli added.
"The Covid-19 pandemic, economic, and climate shocks have highlighted the importance of robust public policy framework and social safety nets. The implementation mechanisms that India has developed over the years for ensuring food security through its three flagship schemes have tremendous regional and global relevance. The study visit by Nepal's Agriculture Minister and its planning commission will contribute to regional food security efforts," said Suman Bery, Vice Chairperson, NITI Aayog.
From June 2 and 9, the mission will hold high-level ministerial and thematic meetings on TPDS, MDM (PM-POSHAN), and ICDS in New Delhi and Odisha. The delegation will also be visiting Fair Price Shops to witness the process for distribution of subsidised food grain under the public distribution system and school feeding programme, and ration card management system in Odisha.
Nepal promulgated the 'Right to Food and Food Sovereignty Act' in 2018. The delegation will take back observations and recommendations to improve the implementation of the act and establish linkages with stakeholders including UN and development partners to implement food system pathways and strategic or game-changing solutions, a statement from the WFP said.
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