Press Release: Seminar on “Nutrition Communication in Agriculture Extension”

RepresentativesThe Institute of Nutrition and Food Science (INFS), University of Dhaka, the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO, Dhaka Office), and the INGENAES project in partnership with the Bangladesh Institute of ICT in Development (BIID) an organized a seminar on “Nutrition Communication in Agriculture Extension”, as well as public exposition of nutrition-related training and reference material at INFS on Wednesday, August 5, 2015. The seminar was held to sensitize the relevant stakeholders including government, NGOs, public sector and academia for the need of integrating nutrition in a gender-transformative manner also within agricultural extension seminar.

The seminar was held as part of the USAID/BFS (Washington, D.C.) funded Integrating Gender and Nutrition within Agricultural Extension Services (INGENAES) project whose objective is to build more robust, gender-responsive and nutrition-sensitive institution, projects and programs within agricultural extension and advisory processes. The project is being implemented by the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, in partnership with University of California, Davis, University of Florida, and Cultural Practice, LLC. BIID is working as the country partner organization for supporting the project in Bangladesh. Professor Dr. AAMS Arefin Siddique, Vice Chancellor of the University of Dhaka was present as the Chief Guest of the inauguration ceremony of the Nutrition Communication in Agriculture Extension seminar. Professor Nazma Shaheen, Director of INFS chaired the session. Ms. Andrea Bohn, Associate Director of INGENAES, Dr. Lalita Bhattacharjee of FAO, and Md Shahid Uddin Akbar, CEO, BIID were also present at the event.

An exhibition was also arranged to showcase the various contents developed by leading organizations in this sector. Following the seminar, Vice Chancellor Professor Dr. AAMS Arefin Siddique ceremoniously opened this impressive exhibition of health-nutrition, nutrition, and agriculture-nutrition related handbooks, reference material, training manuals, posters, brochures, flip charts, CDs, and videos. Notably, INFS displayed nutrition communication material dating back forty years that showed surprising similarity with tools used today, such as food plates, but done by original artistic rendering. The brand new Food Composition Table was exhibited. Other exhibitors included INFS, FHI360, Helen Keller International, Caritas, World Fish, and FAO.

Two parallel sessions were held. One was on the opportunities for making content more widely accessible and whether there was a need for message harmonization in nutrition communication. The other was on the initiative of starting a ‘Nutrition Club’ to engage the youth in nutrition issues were held following the inaugural session.