FAO in Bangladesh

Improving reporting of food and nutrition security


Food security and nutrition issues can be difficult to communicate to the general public. Journalists play an important role in providing information about food nutrition and security (FNS) and raising awareness but themselves can have trouble understanding and reporting on scientific matters.

To help improve media reporting of food and nutrition security in Bangladesh, FAO’s Meeting the Undernutrition Challenge (MUCH) project held a sensitisation workshop in Dhaka which dozens of national and specialised media organizations participated in. 

The one-day workshop was held in partnership with SUCHANA, a project funded by the European Union and UKAID, and in collaboration with the Press Institute of Bangladesh. Senior representatives attended from USAID, UKAID, Save the Children, the Ministry of Food, and the Ministry of Information.

Keynote speakers were M Badrul Arefin, Director-General (Additional Secretary), Food Planning and Monitoring Unit, Ministry of Food; Assunta Testa, Programme Manager, Food and Nutrition Security, European Union Delegation in Bangladesh; and M Shahidur Rahman Bhuiyan, Senior Food Security and Agricultural Policy Advisor, USAID. They emphasized how the workshop was an important means to help journalists understand and explain FNS issues, particularly with regards to people’s health decisions and diet choices.

Naoki Minamiguchi, Chief Technical Advisor of MUCH, presented an informative session on FNS. Additionally, FAO’s FNS Technical Assistance Team conducted a detailed session on FNS policy and nutrition-sensitive food systems in Bangladesh. Sheikh Shahed Rahman, Chief of Party of SUCHANA, shared the project’s FNS research findings and called for improved social protection interventions for access to nutritious diets.

The senior editor of one of Bangladesh’s most influential newspapers, Prothom Alo, spoke about the importance of responsible FNS reporting. At the end of the session, journalists shared areas, and discussed how they could strengthen partnerships with local and national government to improve FNS reporting.

The workshop will be followed by a series of seminars on specific FNS topics, to be facilitated by MUCH. The Press Institute of Bangladesh plans a media fellowship and awards to encourage better FNS reporting.

MUCH is implemented by FAO, in collaboration with the Food and Monitoring Unit of the Ministry of Food, and funded by USAID and the European Union.