By Aamon Butao
Government has revealed that the much-awaited Food and Nutrition Bill will be tabled in the next meeting of Parliament.
Chief Director in the Ministry of Health, Dr Queen Dube, disclosed this in an exclusive interview with Timveni Online.
Dube said the Bill has been finalized and is in the hands of the Ministry of Justice from where it will be taken to the Nationa Assembly for debate and passing.
For over 15 years now, Civil Society Organizations have been advocating for the passing of the Food and Nutrition Bill to deal with malnutrition among children, other things.
The Bill has been in a draft form since 2004.
The civil society has been engaging members of parliament to lobby for the passing of the Bill but nothing has come to light.
The CSOs wants the Bill to be tabled and passed so that government should ensure that food is available to all Malawians in acceptable quantities and quality.
When the Bill is enacted into law, the expectation is that every person will have the right to adequate food and good nutrition which also encompasses the right to freedom from hunger and food security.
Civil Society Organization Nutrition Alliance (CSONA) programs manager Joseph Gausi said time has come for the Government of Malawi to hear their voice and pass the Bill.
According to Gausi, once the Bill is passed it will also play a pivotal role in reducing malnutrition prevalence which is at 37% the expectation is that children will have access to nutritious food.
Gausi added the country cannot develop and have visionary leaders if the Bill is not passed.
On this note, Gausi reminded President Lazarus Chakwera to fulfill his promise of passing the Bill which was also part of his State of the Nation Address.
Conquering with Gausi is Save the Children Senior Technical Advisor on Policy and Advocacy, John Chipeta, said once the Bill is passed and enacted into law, there will be regulation and inspection of food products on the market to protect the citizenry especially children from hazardous food.
According to Chipeta, Malawi will be at another level once the bill is passed as food will be available to all that will lead to the productive of the people.
Commenting on the matter, Chief Director in the Ministry of Health, Dr Queen Dube, said by the end of this year Malawi will have the Food and Nutrition Bill tabled in the National Assembly.
She said the Bill will be taken to Parliament in the next meeting of Parliament.
Dube said government understands the importance of the bill.
The Food and Nutrition Bill will help to improve food systems in the country.