Wednesday, May 22, 2024

National Consultation Workshop to Incorporate Food Systems Transformation in University Education

Pakistani universities and higher educational institutions convened to deliberate on integrating food systems and food systems transformation into the curriculum of agriculture and food sciences programs. The National Agriculture Education Accreditation Council (NAEAC) and Higher Education Commission (HEC), in collaboration with the Global Alliance for Improved Nutrition (GAIN), organized a National Consultation Workshop on Introducing New Courses on Food System Transformation in Pakistan. The workshop, scheduled for April 17th – 18th, 2024, in Islamabad, aimed to address the critical need for incorporating food systems transformation into education, particularly in agriculture and food sciences, aligning with Pakistan's commitment to achieving Sustainable Development Goal 2 (SDG-2) and advancing food security for vulnerable populations.

Prof. Dr. Fayyaz-ul Hassan Sahi, Chairman of NAEAC, emphasized the crucial role of academia and NAEAC in enhancing understanding of food systems and transforming Pakistan's food systems. He assured strong support and technical leadership from NAEAC, highlighting the alignment of this initiative with NAEAC's vision to improve academic curriculum.

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Farrah Naz, Country Director at GAIN, underscored the importance of robust approaches to improving understanding of food systems and their transformation, emphasizing the significant role of NAEAC, HEC, and PARC (Pakistan Agricultural Research Council) as key partners in advancing food security in the country.

Faiz Rasool, Head of Policy & Advocacy at GAIN, outlined the key objectives of the workshop, including designing and implementing innovative curriculum modules, providing training opportunities for faculty, facilitating interdisciplinary research collaborations, advocating for the importance of food systems transformation, and implementing a framework to assess the impact of introduced curriculum and educational initiatives.

Dr. Ghulam Muhammad Ali, Chairman of PARC, emphasized the workshop's significance in bringing together stakeholders from academia, government, NGOs, and international partners to discuss course outlines, finalize action plans, and ensure alignment with national priorities and international standards.

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