“Adopting and promoting sustainable production practices require concerted effort, something which in practice is too often missing or insufficient. Making this shift at the scale required demands forward-looking leadership in the public and private sectors alike.” – Helen Clark, UNDP Administrator
Setting plans in place to ensure food is grown isn’t always enough to ensure this food will go to the targeted areas. Adequate monitoring of programs is necessary to ensure efficiency. In Following up on our last comment that answered the first question under programs, we are now discussing the second question in this comment.
• How can the impact of such programs on food consumption and nutrition be monitored?
In Guyana, the government has a track record of transforming the agricultural sector into a local and international supplier in a wide range of processed, canned and bottled agricultural foods. They have also achieved the goal of “halving” the population hunger rate. Despite being a major net exporter of food, Guyana still stands on sinkable grounds on providing and maintaining food for its country. The creation of food and nutrition programs is seen as one of the most tedious tasks but monitoring can be tremendously stressful at the other end. However, Guyana has taken the greatest toll of implementing the “Guyana Food and National Security Strategy 2011 -2020”. The strategy is aimed at improving the health and well-being of all persons living in Guyana through enhanced food and nutrition security. In developing and implementing policies and programs to achieve this overall goal its measures and actions will impact the entire population, but the primary concern will be with those sections of the population that live in poverty and are considered particularly vulnerable to food and nutrition insecurity. This monitoring program was undertaken by the government of Guyana along with the ministry of agriculture and other governmental bodies. There has been no recent monitoring program developed by the private sector or civil society but they both have been in support of the government’s monitoring program.
With this strategy active, a Regional and Community Food and Nutrition Security Forums (CFNSF) and a National Technical Coordinating Unit (NTCU) will be constituted by stakeholders from government, private sector, civil society and the donor community at each of the ten administrative regions of Guyana. The major role of the Community Coordinators (CC) will be to prioritize projects related to food security and facilitate food security project coordination, identification, implementation, management and evaluation.
The private sector and civil society will in turn applaud, support and be better off with this initiative in supporting the needs of the nation’s wealth. With these bodies in action we now have major monitoring techniques in place which will grow a better Guyana for all.
Source: Ministry of Agriculture: Government of Guyana. Food and Nutrition Security Strategy for Guyana. July 2011. http://www.cwa.caricom.org/press/publications/Food%20and%20Nutrition%20Security%20Strategy%202011.pdf (accessed September 24, 2013).