The meeting took place under the chairmanship of the Honourable Minister of Food Sindh along with the Secretary Food on 29 January 2020. The meeting started at 12:00 noon with a discussion on the progress of the Food Fortification Act, 2019. FFP Team Leader Mr. Stuart King provided a short update on progress of the FFP and support provided to the fortification agenda including the development of the Fortification Legislation and its importance.
FFP Team Leader Mr Stuart King requested to the Honourable Minister of Food and the Secretary Food to help in moving forward the Sindh Food Fortification Bill to the Sindh Assembly. The Secretary Food said that the bill is currently with the Law Department and under their scrutiny and review before being returned to the Food Department to submit the bill to the Assembly. The Law Department will respond to the Food Department within 15 working days. The FFP Provincial Manager will keep following up with the Food Department to ensure support to the progress being made. The Secretary Food discussed with the honourable Minister of Food Mr Hari Ram Kishori Lal that he has received a telephone call from the honourable Minister Health Dr Azra Fazal regarding the DFID funded Food Fortification Programme. The Minister of Food and the Secretory Food offered his and his team’s complete support and as a regulator of Flour Mills in Sindh Province he proposed a meeting initially on the 4th of February (subsequently changed to a later date due to a clash with proposed Cabinet meeting) and to invite the PFMA chairman and office bearers to discuss the Food Fortification status in the entire province. He said Fortification shall be started very soon without any further delay. The Minister of Food agreed to be present at the meeting with the PFMA. Dr. Abid has briefed the participants on the installation of Microfeeders in all districts of Sindh Province.
On Equipment Support by the FFP, and the need for the allocation of appropriate laboratory space on a long term tenure, the Secretory Food informed that Rs. 100m was recently allocated to Sindh Food Authority to establish its own state of the Art Reference Lab in the premises of Karachi University. The Secretary mentioned that this funding would make sure the required expertise and capacity existed to provide the Department with all the testing required to ensure food standards and adequate fortification were achieved throughout the Province. He asked about who would eventually be given ownership of the equipment provided and Mr Stuart explained that the equipment would remain under DFID ownership until towards the end of the FFP programme at which point FFP would seek DFID approval to transfer the ownership of the HPLC & Spectrometer to the Institute/ Karachi University once the Lab is established. The Secretary was of the view the Institute would be established in the next two months.
The FFP Team Leader and Team thanked the Honourable Minister and the Secretary Food for their invaluable support and advice.