Bhubaneshwar: Odisha’s chief minister Naveen Patnaik took the stage at the United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) headquarters in Rome to share the transformational progress by the state on strengthening livelihoods and food security with a specific focus on marginalized communities and women.

The CM is currently in Rome at the invitation of the WFP to visit its HQ and share the State’s transformational initiatives.

He delivered an address in the presence of WFP Executive Director David Beasley and the leadership team of WFP. He also held interactions on existing partnerships and programs that the Government of Odisha and WFP in India are collaborating on, to deliver the common agenda of Zero Hunger.

“ Over the last two decades, Odisha has been through a transformational journey in the field of food production, food security, livelihoods, disaster management, and so on. By attaining food sufficiency, initiating large-scale development programs designed around creating climate resilient livelihoods and nutrition, and focussing on partnerships, the state is moving consistently towards Sustainable Development Goals and inclusive development,” Chief Minister said.

“It would be our pleasure to share our experience across the world through WFP and its partner agencies,” he added.

“It is a pleasure to welcome the chief minister of Odisha and share our impressions on the innovative work the State is doing in partnership with WFP in India. Our joint goal of strengthening livelihoods and food security across Odisha is being translated into action with a series of ambitious projects to support inclusive development and new economic opportunities, especially for women. It’s exciting to see how our collaboration is helping to drive Odisha’s progress towards achieving Zero Hunger and the other UN Sustainable Development Goals,” the Executive Director of the World Food Programme said, welcoming the Chief Minister.

“ We recognize and appreciate the transformational work of the State Government of Odisha in the fields of Disaster management, food production, and food security. The success story of Odisha can provide learning insights for other similarly placed countries. We have discussed, today, that the Government of Odisha and WFP will collaborate to take forward this learning experience and provide a global training platform,” he added.

The chief minister also expressed appreciation for the partnership with WFP on several fronts that have not only been effective in the state but have also been scaled up nationally.

Also present at the event in Rome were Valerie N. Guarnieri, Assistant Executive Director of the United Nations World Food Programme, Manoj Juneja, Assistant Executive Director of the United Nations World Food, Bishow Parajuli, Representative and Country Director, WFP India and Himanshu Bal, Odisha State Head, WFP India.

Secretary to CM ( 5T) V K Pandian, principal secretary food and civil supplies V V Yadav, resident commissioner Ravi Kanth were present during the deliberations.

WFP and the government of Odisha signed four partnership agreements and initiated six new projects in 2021. Some of the ongoing work includes the transformation of the Public Distribution System and paddy procurement, the Grain ATM and Smart Mobile Storage Units, the use of evidence on food and nutrition security for planning; program monitoring partnership with Odisha Millet Mission, secure fishing with fisheries & animal resource development and partnership with the Mission Shakti program – a formidable network of seven million women formed into six hundred thousand women self-help groups.