FAO launches ToT Program for MoA Officers for Building a Sector-wide Pool of Expert Nutrition Trainers

Agrilife24.com:“There is no alternative in disseminating vital nutrition information by spearheading mass awareness campaigns at the sub-national level”, said by Mr. Kamalaranjan Das, Additional Secretary, Ministry of Agriculture, while he chaired as Chief Guest of the closing ceremony of a three-day training titled ‘Training for Trainers Workshop for officials of Bangladesh Institute of Research and Training on Applied Nutrition (BIRTAN) for capacity strengthening of officers at Sub-national level on FNS Policy Frameworks’.

Under the patronage of the Bangladesh Institute for Research and Training in Applied Nutrition (BIRTAN), Ministry of Agriculture and Bangladesh National Nutrition Council (BNNC), the EU and USAID funded ‘Meeting the Undernutrition Challenge (MUCH) project of the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) and in the Food Planning and Monitoring Unit (FPMU), Ministry of Food organized the workshop from 28-30 November 2021 in Dhaka.

The workshop aimed at capacitating the officials of the BIRTAN to impart further training to strengthen the capacity of government officials across sectors at District and Upazila levels to implement relevant FNS policies, contribute to annual multi-sectoral food and nutrition planning, and improve delivery of nutrition services, in line with the NFNSP PoA 2021-2030 Area of Intervention ‘Enhance human resources capacity and nutrition expertise with multisectoral training and experience’.

The Chief Guest in his speech stressed that the Ministry of Agriculture gives great importance to ensuring food and nutrition security across all age groups and categories of individuals in the country, even in the rural hard-to-reach household levels areas. In line, the government under the Ministry of Agriculture through the development and rolling out of different nutrition-sensitive and nutrition-specific interventions as well.

Among others, in attendance were Dr. Md. Khalilur Rahman-  Director General- Bangladesh National Nutrition Council (BNNC) and Md. Abdul Wadud- Additional Secretary and Executive Director, BIRTAN as special guests, while Md. Shahiduzzaman Faruki- Director General (Additional Secretary), Food Planning and Monitoring Unit (FPMU) as the Chair of the event. Other present were facilitators and officials from FAO, FPMU and BIRTAN including other staffs from USAID and EU funded FAO’s MUCH project. Nearly 25 officials  from BIRTAN, Ministry of Agriculture attended the workshop.

In opening ceremony, Dr. Md. Khalilur Rahman, Director General, Bangladesh National Nutrition Council (BNNC) said that, ‘Indeed Bangladesh is making progress on nutrition, yet we have to go beyond to achieve the targets of SDG 2030. And so, we should feel and at the same time realize to making good nutrition everyone’s responsibility so that, no one should leaving behind”.

This emphasis on capacity development of government officials through training of trainers fits the broader agenda of the National Food and Nutrition Security Framework and the related United Nations Sustainable Development Goals 2030 for Bangladesh.

Md. Abdul Wadud, Additional Secretary and Executive Director, BIRTAN in his speech said he was very happy with the capacity building of BIRTAN’s officials through this workshop and he also appreciated the important role played by BIRTAN’s staff in various implementation steps of the nutrition-focused interventions, supporting the communities at grassroot levels in the field. He hoped that the participants will be able to develop their skills and capabilities through FAO training on FNSP frameworks, especially related to nutrition sensitive and nutrition-specific interventions outlined in the National Food and Nutrition Security Plan of Action 2021-2030 and further relay their learnings to the officials, working at sub-national level, under District Nutrition Coordination Council (DNCC) and Upazila Nutrition Coordination Council (UNCC).

The FAO expert stressed that the main output is to have trained BIRTAN, Ministry of Agriculture officials across the country through this ToT workshop to support the Government to spur nutrition-sensitive and nutrition-specific actions and further their successful implementation. At the end of the workshop, the officials will be considered successfully trained as leading trainers (TOT) and field facilitators to working as ‘Change Agents’ of good nutrition.

On the sidelines of the workshop, participants took part at different brainstorming group works and presented their plan of actions respectively on some of the selected nutrition related indicators among 64 indicators described in the National Food and Nutrition Security Policy Frameworks.  

The three-day workshop concluded with a vote of thanks by Md. Shahiduzzaman Faruki- Director General (Additional Secretary), Food Planning and Monitoring Unit, FPMU, Ministry of Food. In ending speech, the FPMU DG also reflected his hope and encourage everyone’s effort to making Bangladesh successful to achieve SDG by 2030 with attaining a sustainable food and positive nutrition system.