The Food and Nutrition Security Policy and Action Plan constitute a national cross-sectoral strategic document of St. Vincent and the Grenadines. Its main objective is to ensure long-term food and nutrition security and the enjoyment by all in the Caribbean Community Member States of the “right to food”.The document provides for elimination of hunger, food security and malnutrition. To this end, it sets out measures concerning implementation of a Zero Hunger Initiative which will reduce the level of hunger and undernourishment in St. Vincent and Grenadines; promotion of and commercialization and consumption of safe, affordable, nutritious quality Caribbean food commodities/products; ensuring food safety and quality control; providing for the basic health and nutrition needs of the vulnerable groups; reducing the incidence and prevalence of diet related chronic non-communicable diseases through enhanced control and management; reducing the incidence of micronutrient deficiency in particular iron deficiency anaemia in the population in general and specifically targeting children and pregnant and lactating women; establishing and maintaining the appropriate institutional, legal, policy and implementation framework for the protection and promotion of child nutrition; establishment of structures and mechanisms to monitor the following: household food access; national food availability; and food stability.The document also seeks to make natural resources more productive and sustainable including by improvement in the quality and quantity of water for domestic agriculture and other purposes, particular in areas of deficiency; promoting the utilising of agricultural production technologies that promote the conservation of soil and water resources; developing and promoting conservation measures and best water use practices to ensure optimal utilization of the water resources; development of principles and criteria to assess the environmental impact of agriculture and the value chain system e.g. sustainable use of water resources, use and disposal of packaging materials, energy, fertilizer, pesticides, outputs (waste from agricultural processes), and introduction and enforcement of systems and mechanisms to minimize any negative effects and impact.Further the document aims to reduce rural poverty. In particular, it provides for promoting development in rural communities through the facilitation of increased investment (public and private sector) in agricultural and food production systems, especially targeting smallholders; stimulating greater involvement of the youth in agriculture; strengthening institutional mechanisms and procedures to facilitate stronger intra and inter-sectoral linkages at the national level and the establishment of regional and international relationships/agreements and protocols that will facilitate more effect utilisation of limited production and marketing resources; enabling a better understanding of the poverty and food insecurity situation through the implementation of improved mechanisms for measuring and monitoring food insecurity and poverty; enhancing employment opportunities and access to food among non-agricultural vulnerable groups; reduction of poverty and unemployment through the enhancement of sustainable and stable employment generating opportunities and the establishment of appropriate safety nets; and facilitating the sustainable development of human and social capital thereby increasing greater accessibility to safe and nutritious food, especially among vulnerable groups.In order to enable more inclusive and efficient agricultural and food systems, the following measures are set out: establishing of a land information system; reviewing of land-use and land allocation policies; developing land use zoning plans to preserve all arable lands; developing a state land banking system to reduce the amount of under-utilized arable land; strengthening the technical and administrative capacity of the Land Management Unit to better manage leased, rented and other state lands; and developing incentive programme to promote the utilization of abundant agricultural lands.Further, increasing the resilience of livelihoods to disasters is among the objectives of the document. To this end, it provides for development and implementation of sustainable and environmentally friendly mitigation strategies to ensure that National Food and Nutrition Security systems to be resilient to natural and socio-economic shocks including climate change; enhancing disaster management capacities, including post-disaster rehabilitation in agricultural systems; development of production systems and practices that are resilient to the impact of climate change, with particular focus on the agricultural sector, and as noted above, also establishment of an Early Warning Information and Management System for Food and Nutrition Security. Among other measures, the document also provides for such specific measures as expansion of appropriate disease and pest management programmes; developing and promoting conservation measures and better agricultural practices to reduce soil erosion; and development of a comprehensive Strategic Program for Climate Resilience with special emphasis on the establishment of effective plant genetic resources disaster response mechanisms.The document notes that it is recommended that the National Food and Nutrition Security Council (NFNSC) be retained as the primary Executive Body with responsibility for coordinating the implementation and monitoring of the National Food and Nutrition Security Policy and Plan. It is further recommended that the NFNSC be comprised of five sub-committees, four of which are in keeping with the pillars of food and nutrition security. The fifth committee would be responsible for the coordination of information, monitoring and evaluation.
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