BUJUMBURA February 10th (ABP) – The permanent executive secretariat of the multisectoral platform for food security and nutrition (SEP/PMSAN), in collaboration with the association of women journalists (AFJO), has been organizing from February 9 to 10, 2023, a training workshop for women journalists on media coverage of food and nutrition security issues.
In her speech opening the activities of the said training, the Minister of Communication, Information Technologies and Media, Mrs. Léocadie Ndacayisaba, first recalled that the government of Burundi is strongly committed to a continuous process of strengthening the food and nutritional security of the people of Burundi in particular and that of women and children through joint multi-sector and multi-actor actions at all levels. She mentioned that in accordance with its national development plan (PND 2018-2027) and the various sectoral strategies, high-impact interventions have been initiated and implemented by the government. She mentioned the subsidy for care and services offered to children under 5 and pregnant women, the prevention and management of cases of acute malnutrition, the school feeding program (school canteens), the establishment and financing of village cooperatives, most of which are for agricultural and pastoral purposes, the subsidy of chemical fertilizers, education in balanced diet and others.
Despite this, awareness and information are the most effective means for education in the fight against malnutrition and food insecurity as well as the promotion of good practices favorable to nutrition, hygiene and basic sanitation.
It is therefore important that journalists and presenters of the various radio stations, televisions and other forms of media broadcasting in Burundi and online newspapers, can be sensitized and sufficiently informed about nutrition and food security to be able to produce and broadcast programs and information messages and awareness on those topics. She also indicated that the Ministry of Communication, Information Technologies and Media is part of the multisectoral platform for food security and nutrition and that, as such, it supports the initiative aimed at networking media professionals to address food and nutrition security issues in Burundi.
For her part, the chairperson of the AFJO, Mrs. Diane Ndonse, recalled that food security has four dimensions, namely access, availability, quality and stability of food or diets. According to her, in Burundi, food security remains a major challenge.
Many factors are responsible for this problem. She cited climate change, population growth, insufficient land, exploitation of women in agriculture and others. As a result, she cited poverty, hunger, famine-related diseases, poverty-related issues such as school drop-out especially among girls.
The chairperson of the AFJO pointed out on the same occasion that the challenges related to food security are not sufficiently and appropriately addressed in the media and there is no specialization on that subject. By organizing that training, the AFJO would like to have female journalists trained and who, after the training, will carry out media productions on food and nutritional security.
The permanent executive secretary of the Multisectoral Platform for Food Security and Nutrition, Dr. Célestin Sibomana also commended the organization of that training, saying that the media will contribute to the dissemination of good nutritional practices. He also added that the multisectoral food security platform has been set up to better structure and coordinate actions at all levels through transformational and exemplary leadership. He clarified that food systems cut across many areas including health, farm-to-table, farm-to-table food systems, education, social protection, water supply, hygiene and sanitation, gender, governance and others.