14 December 2020, Punjab, IN: The Ludhiana Chapter of National Academy of Agricultural Sciences (NAAS), Punjab Agricultural University (PAU), organized a NAAS series online lecture on “United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) towards Achieving Zero Hunger, Improving Nutrition and Promoting Sustainable Livelihoods” today. Dr Harjit Sandhu, a PAU alumnus and Senior Investigations Advisor, World Food Programme (The 2020 Nobel Peace Prize Laureate), Rome, Italy, delivered the lecture. The Directors of ICAR Institutes of Ludhiana, NAAS fellows, and faculty and students from PAU, its Regional Research Stations, Krishi Vigyan Kendras, Farm Advisory Service Centres; and Guru Angad Veterinary and Animal Sciences University (GADVASU) attended the lecture. Dr Baldev Singh Dhillon, Vice-Chancellor, PAU, was the chief guest on the occasion.
Sharing his journey from PAU to WFP, Dr Sandhu said: “PAU (1962) and WFP (1961) were established around the same time. I am proud to be a part of both the organizations.” The WFP is the world’ largest humanitarian agency which aims at saving lives, improving nutrition and quality of life, and ending global hunger. “Each day we have 5,600 trucks, 30 ships and 100 planes on the move to deliver food. The WFP delivered 4.2 million metric tonnes of food in 2019 and more than three quarters of food comes from developing countries,” he disclosed. The WFP also plays a role in Sustainable Development Goals, he added. Dwelling upon food security and insecurity, he referred to four pillars of food security, which include availability, access, utilization and stability (by Food and Agriculture Organization). “Every year, 50.5 million children under five suffer acute malnutrition,” he revealed, while saying that WFP is focusing on prevention, improving treatment through innovation and linking prevention with treatment in this regard. “In 2019, the WFP provided school meals to more than 17.3 million children in 50 countries. The WFP is promoting sustainable livelihoods,” he said. The WFP has anti-fraud and anti-corruption policy, which is applicable to all WFP activities and operations, and includes staff, cooperating partners, vendors, etc., he added.
Dr Dhillon appreciated the informative lecture by Dr Sandhu.
Giving a brief introduction of the guest speaker, Dr GK Sangha, Dean, Postgraduate Studies, said: “Dr Sandhu is serving the humanitarian organization, fighting hunger worldwide.”
Dr PK Chhuneja, Head, Department of Entomology and Incharge NAAS Series Lecture, PAU, said NAAS lecture provided an opportunity to delegate on important issues of agriculture.
Later, an interactive session was held where the queries of the participants were addressed by Dr Sandhu.