By Tenson Zobo
Minister of Health Peter Kumpalume has urged governments within the Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (COMESA) to invest in nutrition research and technologies in order to hasten economic growth and livelihoods development.
Kumpalume made the appeal when he officially opened a two-day (October 8-9) Food and Nutrition Research Dissemination Conference at Bingu International Conference Centre (BICC) in Lilongwe.
Centering on the theme of the forum which is Food and Nutrition for Sustainable National Economic Development “You are What You Eat”, Kumpalume said countries have developed because of science and technology. In his sentiments said improved technologies have been able to revolutionaries’ communications, manufacturing sectors and achieve human wellbeing and development through effective food and nutrition interventions.
“For this to happen there is need for member states to invest heavily in research and technology in order to achieve health living and faster economic growth rate”, Kumpalume said. Among which he urged local private sector players to seize the opportunity and engages government to reduce malnutrition among which by scaling up nutrition and research. The For instance, stunting as a nutrition indicator can be reduced in Malawi. The nutrition is a key to economy, wellbeing, heath and for students at school hence disseminating information is of critical importance.
Associate Professor for Human Nutrition LUANAR Alexander Kalimbira, when making key note address on cost of hunger, said Malawi has a greater potential for investment in areas of nutrition to combat malnutrition.
“The cost of hunger in the national economic development is increasing due to recent floods among other factors. Therefore, nutrition research forum will come up with recommendation on the several issues related to malnutrition; thus, including food safety, food laws and regulation, nutrition and health, agriculture, information and communication technologies”, lamented Kalimbira.
The meeting has brought together stakeholders from different research institutions, academia, government, development partners and Civil Society Organizations working in the food and nutrition sectors.