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17 February, 2019 00:00 00 AM
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Ensure nutrition of RMG workers for higher productivity: Mayor

Staff Reporter, Ctg
Ensure nutrition of RMG workers for higher productivity: Mayor

The mayor of Chattogram city corporation, AJM Nasir Uddin, yesterday said the productivity of workers in the readymade garments (RMG) industry can be increased by fulfilling their nutritional needs. Most RMG workers suffer from malnutrition, which hampers their productivity and affects the entire sector, he noted.

Nasir Uddin was speaking as chief guest at a roundtable arranged jointly by the World Food Programme, the Knitwear Manufacturers' and Exporters' Association (BKMEA) and the SR Asia World Trade Centre of Agrabad in Chattogram. The programme, "Adequate nutrition for workers’ economic and social benefits of fortified rice",  was organised to acknowledge the changing paradigm of CSR in Bangladesh and provide a platform for discussing ways to improve the workers’ healthcare and nutritional conditions to improve productivity.

The 'Scaling Up Rice Fortification' initiative aims to reduce micronutrient deficiencies in high-risk groups by keeping a strong focus on women and children. It sets about fulfilling the target by providing rice fortified with essential vitamins and minerals. With funding from the Netherlands and support from the DSM, this joint initiative by the WFP and the Government of Bangladesh is being implemented since 2013.

“Nutrition is essential for the human body. It influences productivity. If the worker is malnourished, high productivity cannot be expected. The RMG sector must ensure nutrition for its workers,” said Nasir Uddin.

"Many garments factories supply meals and tiffin to their workers. Owners of those factories should add fortified rice in such meals to ensure nutrition for their workers," he suggested. He also urged the WFP and other organisations to create awareness among the factory workers and owners in this regard. Workers must be encouraged to buy fortified rice for achieving the nutritional balance, he observed.

“We have to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) by involving people. So, workers should be encouraged to buy fortified rice,” he added.

Representatives from the BKMEA, different factories and the government were present on the occasion.

The head of WFP’s social safety net policies and programmes said: “For building a talented future generation, we have to eat fortified rice.”

Md Omar Farque, additional secretary, Md Showkat Osman, Ministry of Food, Sumaya Rashid, country director of SR Asia, Dr Mohammad Mahbobor Raham, programme officer of WFP, Rajib Das Sujoy, director of BKMEA, Showkat Osman, former director of BKMEA, Abida Mostafa, senior vice-president of the Chattogram Women chamber, among others, spoke at the event.

 

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Editor : M. Shamsur Rahman

Published by the Editor on behalf of Independent Publications Limited at Media Printers, 446/H, Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1215.
Editorial, News & Commercial Offices : Beximco Media Complex, 149-150 Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1208, Bangladesh. GPO Box No. 934, Dhaka-1000.

Editor : M. Shamsur Rahman
Published by the Editor on behalf of Independent Publications Limited at Media Printers, 446/H, Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1215.
Editorial, News & Commercial Offices : Beximco Media Complex, 149-150 Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1208, Bangladesh. GPO Box No. 934, Dhaka-1000.

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