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A brief on the Webinar ‘Challenges of Covid-19: Food & Nutrition Security’ organized by NAAB

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A brief on the Webinar ‘Challenges of Covid-19: Food & Nutrition Security’ organized by NAAB

NAAB is a platform to strengthen the ties among the alumni from the diverse community, Universities and other Institutions through different activities, education, programs.

We are very happy to organize the Webinar on the ‘Challenges of Covid-19: Food & Nutrition Security’ dated on 19 November 2020, Thursday, from 02:15 PM to 04:45 PM Dhaka time in collaboration with Nuffic and Dutch Embassy in Bangladesh. It was an encouragement discussion to motivate the professionals from the field of food & nutrition security and other relevant fields round the Globe. It was designed to share knowledge and experience in the field of food & nutrition security and relevant experiences during this Corona crisis all over. Alumni and participants from the Government and Non-Government Organizations, University & Research organizations, Private Sectors, Young professionals, Embassy of Kingdom of Netherlands in Bangladesh, Nuffic Netherlands Office and International students abroad attended the webinar. They shared their valuable knowledge and experiences on coping with the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic situation and way forward.

1. Inaugural session:

Dr Engr MA Quassem, President NAAB & Chaired the Webinar and gave a welcome address at the very beginning of the event.

Md. Arifur Rahman Apu, Additional Secretary, Ministry of Agriculture, was present there as a special guest and appreciated this initiative by NAAB and briefed about the present strategies on food and nutrition security from the Ministry of Agriculture, Government of Bangladesh to cope up with this pandemic situation due to this Covid-19 all around. 

Dr Md Nazirul Islam, DG-Director General, BARI-Bangladesh Agricultural Research Institute attended the Webinar and spoke on the occasion and put his valuable suggestions. He valued and assured his full cooperation to NAAB activities 

Paula Schindeler, Deputy Ambassador of the Netherlands to Bangladesh gave the opening remarks and talked about other programs being implemented in collaboration with the Government of Bangladesh and she continued their support. She talked about the long historical background and collaboration between the Government of Bangladesh and The Netherlands.

Matthijs Landsmeer, Country Programme Manager, Nuffic, Global Development, The Netherlands talked about the different activities from Nuffic in Bangladesh and expressed his gratitude to organize the Webinar in association with NAAB.

2. Technical Session

Technical session was facilitated & moderated by the Alumni and Emeritus Professor Dr MA Sattar Mandal, Dept of Ag Economics & Former Vice Chancellor of Bangladesh Agricultural University.

Osman Haruni, Embassy of the Kingdom of the Netherlands Bangladesh gave a brief introduction on the ongoing FNS-Food and Nutrition Security projects supported by The Royal Netherlands Embassy in Bangladesh. There was a learning sharing experience session from the NICHE & Orange Knowledge Programme (OKP) and other programmes supported by The Royal Netherlands Embassy followed by a technical session.

Professor Dr. Harunur Rashid, Project Coordinator, Bangladesh Agricultural University shared his presentations on MS & Honors degree along with a short course for the professionals on Food Safety (NICHE & OKP FNS projects) supported by The EKN in Bangladesh. Alongside this, he mentioned different activities of the food and safety lab run by the institute. Professor Dr Alamgir Kabir, Project Director, Patuakhali Science & Technology University (PSTU) gave his presentations on Climate Smart Agriculture (NICHE & OKP FNS projects) supported by EKN in Bangladesh. In particular, he shared how the staff of PSTU are reaping the benefit from this project through different research opportunities at Wageningen University (WUR), Netherlands. Dr Golam Mahboob, BARI-Bangladesh Agricultural Research Institute gave his presentation on ARSAM Lab (NICHE & OKP FNS projects) supported by The EKN in Bangladesh.

Professor Dr Sandy Thomas, Director, Global Panel on Agriculture and Food Systems for Nutrition, UK gave a presentation on ‘Covid-19: safeguarding food systems and promoting healthy diets’ which was very much relevant to the Webinar and highly appreciated by all.

Professor Dr Abdul Wahab, Chief of the Party, World Fish, put his valuable remarks on fisheries sector in Bangladesh and its impact on the people. Prof. Dr Wahab emphasized how stress conditions are impacting on agriculture and he urges more cooperation from Netherlands regarding the technical support for food storage. Peerzadi Rumana Hossain from WorldFish talked about the shorter supply chain and to follow the LED-Local Economic Development model during this pandemic situation of Covid-19 and way forward. Catharien Terwisscha, Project Coordinator from WUR discussed the importance of water resources for crop and food security and explained the importance of a healthy diet during the pandemic COVID-19 period. Professor Dr Zahangir talked about the private sector investment, effective food storage system & supply chain, cold storage facilities. Peter Agnew, Senior Resilience Program Manager at FAOBD also participated the Webinar and happy to share his views with others.

After the presentation session was over an open discussion session started and respective participants shared their valuable suggestions and experiences regarding the Covid-19 situation all over. Ipshita Habib, Manager, Resource Mobilization and Advocacy, Solidaridad Network Asia shared her opinion on integrating ICT based Technology, e-commerce, improved water and irrigation knowledge in the farming system. She also mentioned that farmers should be linked with the digitized financial institution and the government should extend their support regarding this.  Besides these, Ipshita Habib also emphasized on engagement of farmers with e-platform and linkage and she was happy to share her experiences with other participants in the Webinar. 

Professor Dr MA Sattar Mandal briefed about the different Govt. support related the Covid-19 pandemic situation and beyond and its linkages to the food and nutrition security in Bangladesh and concluded the technical session

3. Concluding Session:

Professor Dr. Ainun Nishat, shared his experience on the water sector and other collaborative efforts from the Government of Bangladesh with the technical support from Dutch Government. He appreciated the NAAB initiative for arranging Webinar on such burning topics as food and nutrition security. Ainul Farhad, Board Member, NAAB gave an outline for the next steps to collect all of the suggestions made by the participants in the Webinar and share this with all. 

Finally, Dr Engr MA Quassem, President-NAAB & Chair of the Webinar thanked all the Experts who attended this Webinar and shared their valuable experience/ feedback to cope with the challenges of Covid-19: Food & Nutrition Security. He gave an announcement of the 2nd Webinar vote of thanks & concluded the Webinar.

Anwarul Alam

General Secretary -NAAB



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