The University of Karachi (KU) is launching a new four-year BS Human Nutrition and Dietetics program in the department of food science and technology, the KU Vice Chancellor Professor Dr Khalid Mahmood Iraqi announced on Tuesday.
He also unveiled the logo of the newly designed four-year BS program after addressing a seminar held in connection to World Food Day 2022. The department of food science and technology organized a Food Expo and a seminar to highlight issues like food insecurity in the country, problems in the productivity of fruits and vegetables, difficulties in supplying fruits and vegetables to different markets, and others. The seminar and food expo was attended by the Indonesian Consul General in Karachi Dr June Kuncoro Hadiningrat, industrialists, manufacturers, scholars, researchers, students, and faculty members
The Indonesian CG Dr June Kuncoro Hadiningrat informed the audience that Indonesia is working on a technical basis for food safety in the country and advised that Pakistan should also adopt that approach.
He said that cooperation between Pakistan and Indonesia in the field of the food industry is going on. Dr June Kuncoro mentioned that World Food Day is a day that encourages broader national and international action on the issue of food security.
“Hunger does not only refer to lack of food but lack of access to adequate quality food is also included in it. Food security is the most important need of the times for which it is the responsibility of all nations to take measures to solve the problems of poverty and hunger.”
Meanwhile, the KU VC Professor Dr Khalid Mahmood Iraqi shared that we claim to be an agricultural country but always fail to provide sufficient food supply in Pakistan. there is no doubt that our motherland is an agricultural country but due to non-research-based policies, Pakistan still imports more than exports and is now considering importing wheat which is a matter of concern.
“Diabetes, blood pressure and heart disease are increasing rapidly due to lack of physical activity and unhealthy diet and lifestyle. We need balanced and moderate consumption of food for a healthy society.”
The KU VC Professor Dr Khalid Iraqi said that developing countries are being affected more by the global food crisis, Pakistan is an agricultural country and we are self-sufficient in food to some extent, but modern technology is not being used here. One of the major causes of malnutrition in Pakistan is the growing population, which needs to be recognized and addressed urgently. We need to take serious measures in the agriculture sector and utilize modern technology to increase our exports.
Earlier, the Director General Sindh Food Authority (SFA) Imran Bhatti while talking about World Food Day 2022 mentioned that this year the theme Leave No One Behind was chosen to mark a year with multiple global challenges, including the COVID-19 pandemic, conflict, climate change, rising prices, and international tensions.
The Chief Executive Officer Chase Up Salman Bashir to strengthen the relationship between industry and academia, we have constructed a lecture hall on a modern basis. He said that academies and industries should jointly develop food items that would appear on the shelves of supermarkets across the country.
The Deputy General Manager of Shan Foods Babar Rasheed said that not only health but also food problems have increased during Covid-19. He said that recent floods have damaged the agricultural sector.
The Country Manager of Salman Foods Sarfaraz Ahmad Khan said that food management is the most important need of the hour.
Fayyaz Ashraf of National Foods said that the agriculture industry should support all food industries connected with it. The goal of National Foods is the preparation of educated workers.
Afshin Tariq the Director of the Pakistan Science and Technological Information Centre (PASTIC) Sindh Region said that our work is to help researchers in the field of food affairs. We believe that research assistance should always be provided to industries.
The CEO of United King Sheikh Muhammad Tahsin said that we trained our staff in food high gene and technology with the support of the KU food science department.
The CEO of Master Argo Group Akram Cheema also addressed the seminar. The departmental chairperson Dr Shahina Naz during her presentation mentioned that the Covid-19 pandemic has pushed an additional 88 million persons to 115 million people into extreme poverty.
She shared that World Bank has reported that Pakistan’s poverty rate is expected to rise between 2.5 percent and 4 percent due to floods. The Global Climate Risk Index has ranked Pakistan in the top 10 countries adversely affected by climate change.
Another faculty member Dr Syed Muhammad Ghufran Saeed said that malnutrition is an important problem in the current flood situation and more than 30 million people are suffering from malnutrition.
Later, the KU VC Professor Dr Khalid Mahmood Iraqi inaugurated Chase Up Bashir Abdul Ghaffar Lecture Hall while also laid down the foundation stone of the Food Testing Lab which would be constructed with the support of Blue Band Margarine.
At the end of the seminar, a memorandum of understanding was signed between the Department of Food Science and Technology and Chase Up, while another MoU was signed between one of the progressive groups Pak Ghiza and the Department of Food Science and Technology.