A recent study by the Food and Agriculture of the United Nations (FAO) found that 95 % of the urban poor in Dhaka purchase most fresh food from kitchen markets.
These fresh food markets are a key resource in the effort to increase nutritious eating and fight food insecurity, said a press release issued on Tuesday.
The information was revealed during a Food Systems Summit Independent Dialogue, titled “The Role of Fresh Food Markets in Bangladesh’s Food System.”
The dialogue, part of preparations for the first ever United Nations Food Systems Summit (UNFSS) later this year, was co-organized by FAO, World Bank, Global Alliance for Improved Nutrition (GAIN), BSAFE Foundation, British Council’s PROKAS, and Bangladesh Food Safety Authority (BFSA).
John Taylor, chief technical adviser of FAO’s Dhaka Food System project, said that fresh food markets have a pivotal role to play in improving access to safe, affordable, and nutritious food.
Fresh food markets can really improve the diets of community members who are food insecure. Those suffering from food insecurity have little money for or access to food, particularly nutritious food, he also said.
Fresh markets are beneficial not only for the poor though but a great resource for everybody since they sell a great variety of fresh food that is important to keep healthy, Taylor added.
FAO is supporting the government to hold a series of UNFSS dialogues that will result in a set of policy recommendations and actions necessary for a more sustainable and inclusive food system.
Discussion topics included market systems, supply chains, urban-rural connectivity, role of markets in the future food system (smart markets), food safety and effective management of markets, consumer behaviour and demands and their impact on the future of food markets, and market governance/infrastructure.
Md Abdul Kayowm Sarker, chairman of Bangladesh Food Safety Authority, Shaikh Azizur Rahman, director general of Department of Livestock Services, Md Asadullah, director general of Department of Agricultural Extension, Farid Ahmed, CEO of Dhaka South City Corporation, Bablu Kumar Saha, director general of Directorate of National Consumer Rights Protection, and Shaikh Mohammad Bokhtiar, chairman of Bangladesh Agriculture Research Council, were present as special guests.