90 Integrating nutrition in practice in sustainable agricultural programs and policies

How to tackle nutrition challenges when designing environmentally sound food and agriculture programs and policies: successful examples in creating enabling policy environments and impactful programs

Organizers

  • France
  • Kyrgyzstan
  • European Union
  • IFOAM – Organics International
  • ACF (Action contre la Faim/Action Against Hunger)

Abstract

Agriculture is now recognized as a key contributor in improving the nutrition outcomes of sustainable food systems. Donors’ interest and engagement are rising. The evidence base on impact pathways through which agriculture and food systems can improve nutrition is growing. Making food systems work for nutrition in practice while meeting sustainability challenges requires a shift at several levels, from strengthening local capacities to replicate successful practices to creating enabling policy environments that supports the emergence and scaling up of agriculture nutrition sensitive interventions. The diversity of speakers involved in this event will allow to cover these different levels and to bring in complementary perspectives.

The governments of France and Kyrgyzstan will share their current work on the integration of nutrition challenges in food system policies and plans at the national level. The EU will bring a global perspective and analyze the latest results of activities on nutrition sensitive approaches in agriculture in the framework of its action plan on nutrition. Case studies from Kyrgyzstan, Nepal, Pakistan and Mali will then help bridge the gap between national, district and local levels by disseminating successful practices mostly based on principles of agro-ecology and raising consumer awareness on dietary diversity and nutrition.

Key speakers/presenters

  • H.E Delphine Borione, Ambassador Permanent Representative of France to FAO, WFP, IFAD (moderator)
  • Madeleine Onclin:  Head of Nutrition Sector, European Commission
  • Bernard Coulibaly, Deputy Prefect of Yorosso, Sikasso, Mali
  • Peggy Pascal, Food security advocacy adviser at Action Against Hunger (ACF)
  • Gabor Figeczky, Advocacy manager, IFOAM – Organics International
  • Alisher Yuldashev, Rural service provider

Summary

This event focused on sharing successful practices and lessons learned in tackling nutrition challenges when designing food and agriculture programs and policies at local, national and regional levels, and looking at a range of different contexts.

Delphine Borione, Ambassador Permanent Representative of France to the Rome based agencies and moderator of the event introduced by recalling France's commitment to the fight against malnutrition and the ongoing implementation of the French nutrition multisectoral roadmap.

The two IFOAM panelists discussed the importance of advocacy and capacity building at the local level. The organization has established a network of actors to encourage sustainable and green practices across the value chain. The program facilitates market access, promotes local crops and encourages increased diversity in production and consumption.

Madeleine Onclin emphasized the key role of partnerships and multisectoral approaches, through examples of programmes implemented by the European Commission in Malawi and Senegal.

Action Against Hunger recalled the need for increased political commitment. The panelist encouraged the allocation of specific budget lines for nutrition in agricultural programs. She also pointed out that bio-fortification should not be considered as a long term solution.

The presentation of Bernard Coulibaly (carried out by Nawal Chahid from the french Ministry of Europe and Foreign Affairs due to unforeseen circumstances), highlighted the experience of the Yorosso multi-sectoral platform. The platform, decentralized at local level, has brought together the various actors and triggered a coordinated multisectoral response.  This lead to a significant decrease of the stunting rate over a relatively short period (from 30 to 15%).

Key outcomes

The different perspectives presented by the panelists showed the importance of establishing public policies and coordination platforms – at the global and local levels - facilitating the emergence and scaling up of a nutrition sensitive agriculture.

Exchanges with the room highlighted the need for a paradigm shift in the design and implementation of sustainable agriculture programs. The role of donors in spreading a more nutrition sensitive approach was emphasized. The room also encouraged the adoption of territorial approaches in the development of these programs.

The Ambassador emphasized CFS’s unique position in tackling malnutrition challenges through its multi-actor character and its role in policy convergence.

To conclude, the Ambassador highlighted some of the key take away messages:

  • The importance of multi-actor work and effective coordination at all levels
  • The many ways in which agriculture can provide solutions to nutritional challenges, particularly in relation to women's empowerment
  • The need to move towards agricultural models with positive impacts on the environment and on nutrition such as agroecology
  • The need to integrate nutrition issues into sectoral policies (agriculture, health, education, etc.), which must then be translated locally.
Side Event - 90 -  Integrating nutrition in practice in sustainable agricultural programs and policies