Undernourishment – not the agricultural ministry’s fault

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An official within the Ministry of Agriculture has said that the undernourishment being experienced in the population is caused by people not eating the right foods rather than a shortage of food.
In a recently released report from the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) of the United Nations (U.N.), Antigua and Barbuda was ranked second behind Haiti in the prevalence of undernourishment within the population.
However, the official said that foods are available but people are not choosing nutritious foods to eat.
“Haiti is experiencing undernourishment in their population because they have a shortage of food, but for us, it is the way our people are eating,” the official said. 
He further explained that “the report is not saying we are hungry,” it is referring to what our people are eating.
“We have food, we have sweet potatoes, jam, cassavas, bananas, but if people get up every day and eat bread and cheese and soda for breakfast, how can you be nourished? And how can you be nourished if everyday people are eating Chinese food in the morning and Chinese food in the evenings?”
The official said that the role of the Ministry of Agriculture is to produce food and they are doing just that but the health ministry should be monitoring residents to ensure they are eating well.
“Even though people have the food, they are not eating the right amounts of food. So, the Ministry of Health must ensure people are buying and eating the right foods which are produced by the Ministry of Agriculture,” he said.
The official added that there should be public education campaigns by the Ministry of Health and other stakeholders, advising the public about the right foods and portion sizes for their meals.
Officials within the Ministry of Health declined to comment on the report and directed our newsroom to the Ministry of Agriculture.

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