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Re: Making agriculture work for nutrition: Prioritizing country-level action, research and support

Peter Steele FAO, Italy


Some final thoughts: nutrition & agricultural production

Last day for making those contributions for what has been one of the more interesting and technically challenging FSN debates in recent times and not least because ‘nutrition’ is fundamental for just about every aspect of human development – no people, people in poor health, people struggling to make a go of things or those who simply don’t care - and everything else becomes of secondary consideration.

This, of course, pre-supposes that people are the nexus of our debate and their importance, role and aspirations always take priority. No one, as far as I can see, has tried to shift the debate into shared environmental care, use of natural resources for other species and the longevity of climatic changes that are slowly shifting those global goal posts in which people and their agricultural production systems will continue to co-exist (although Peter Carter has pointed in this direction). There is also reference to the ‘Do no harm’ approach to socio-economic development by a second correspondent. Scope for another debate perhaps.

The FSN facilitators will be making their appraisal of the key issues to arise around their request for direction with new investments. Amongst the wish-lists and imagination of the many contributors, I particularly enjoyed the more pragmatic inputs provided by:


Key issues/sectors/recommendations

Lavinia Gasperini

Making education all-inclusive and available for all people (and especially rural people); and teaching nutrition within the range of life-skills required of a productive life.

Lisa Kitinova

Encouraging horticulture production wherever possible.

Reduction of losses in the food chain.

Jane Sherman

Eating habits & knowledge.

Producing to market demands.

University Guyana 6

Consumer focus.

Supply channels & packaging.


Mine is also a request to be more pragmatic about what can be achieved – my earlier contribution - especially with limited resources, and targeting people who are not always interested in being the focus of that investment (and who may indeed prefer that television in preference to nutritious foods). My key words continue to remain ‘private sector’.

Well done everyone – an excellent debate.