12.09.2012 - 09.10.2012

Mettre l’agriculture au service de la nutrition: Prioriser l’action à l’échelon national, la recherche et le soutien

Chers Membres,

Les organisations et les praticiens concernés par le développement se montrent aujourd'hui particulièrement intéressés par la programmation et les politiques agricoles destinées à améliorer la nutrition. Un récent document intitulé « Synthesis of Guiding Principles on Agriculture Programming for Nutrition » a mis en évidence le nombre croissant d’institutions de développement international qui interviennent officiellement en la matière, et  constaté que les messages centraux sont souvent similaires. Dans cette synthèse, l’auteur énumère 20 principes revendiqués, de manière indépendante, par une pléthore d’institutions pour planifier, mettre en œuvre et soutenir une agriculture soucieuse de la nutrition, ainsi qu'un certain nombre de carences qui freinent l'action axée sur ces principes.

Sur  la base d’une discussion antérieure du FSN « Liens entre l'agriculture, les systèmes alimentaires et la nutrition: Quel est votre point de vue? » et la synthèse correspondante, cette discussion pour but de de faire connaître et de prioriser les mesures requises à l’échelon national, de détecter les lacunes en matière de recherche et de déterminer le soutien nécessaire sur la base d’un dialogue international de fond sur la façon d'améliorer la nutrition par le biais de l'alimentation et de l'agriculture.
Quelles sont les principales approches considérées collectivement comme les plus importantes? Quelles sont les recommandations pratiques susceptibles de promouvoir, d’appuyer et de garantir plus efficacement la prise en compte de la nutrition dans les investissements consentis dans le domaine agricole et de la sécurité alimentaire ? Quel est le type de recherche requis ?

La discussion va se dérouler à un moment stratégique, juste avant la réalisation de plusieurs réunions importantes où seront abordés les liens entre l’agriculture et la nutrition. Les résultats de cette discussion seront également mis à la disposition des et incorporés aux prochaines réunions qui aborderont les thèmes de la nutrition et de l’agriculture, telles que SUN, le CSA (Comité de la sécurité alimentaire mondiale), la CMRAD (Conférence mondiale sur la recherche agricole pour le développement) et le PDDAA (Programme intégré pour le développement de l'agriculture en Afrique). Votre participation à cette discussion vous permettra de faire entendre votre voix à ces manifestations déterminantes dans l’établissement de programmes.


Sur la base de votre connaissance et expérience personnelles de l’amélioration de la nutrition par le biais de programmes agricoles et alimentaires:

1. Si vous étiez chargé d’élaborer un programme d’investissements agricoles, quels seraient les 5 principales mesures à adopter pour en maximiser l’impact sur la nutrition ?

2. Dans quels domaines souhaiterez-vous intensifier les recherches pour étayer l’élaboration et la mise en œuvre d'un tel programme, et pourquoi?

3. Que peuvent faire nos institutions pour contribuer à ce que les gouvernements des pays s'engagent activement en faveur de vos recommandations, et en garantir la mise en œuvre efficace?

Vous êtes invités à inclure, dans chacune de vos réponses, des éléments pratiques, des preuves et des anecdotes liés à votre expérience personnelle en matière de recherche, de mise en œuvre ou de sensibilisation.

Nous vous remercions à l’avance de vos contributions et du temps que vous allez accorder à ces réponses, dont nous soulignons l’importance au regard de l’impact futur de vos commentaires.

Anna Herforth (consultante auprès de la Banque mondiale et de la FAO)
Cristina Lopriore (member des services de conseil en matière de nutrition de l’UE, facilitant en sa qualité personnelle)

Cette discussion est fermée. Contactez fsn-moderator@fao.org pour tous renseignements.

Kuruppacharil V.Peter World Noni Research Foundation, India
Kuruppacharil V.Peter

Noni (Morinda citrifolia L.) - a future tree for wellness and food supplimentation

Undernourishment and imbalanced rice based food are staring the developing world. Anemia, stunted growth, infant mortality, low body weight at birth and micro-nutrient deficiency disorders are telling adversely the working capacity and the cascading effect is abject poverty and low purchasing power.

Plant based nutraceuticals are natural, available at homesteads and pro-nature and green.

Noni(Morinda citrifolia L.), belonging to coffee family Rubiaceae, is a time tested tree with Polynesian origin spread to Micronesia, Indonesia, Malaysia, Andaman and Nicobar Islands(India).

The tree adores temples in Indonesia and adjoining N.E.Asian countries. More than 160 nutraceuticals are isolated from the fruits. Forty-six Universities around the world conduct research on Noni.

University of Hawaii has contributed significantly.

There is an all inclusive World Noni Research Foundation, Chennai India to undertake and promote research on Noni-tree improvement, protection, clinical research, pharmacological studies and food science-.

The International Society of Noni Science, Chennai promotes research by holding National Seminars every year and publishes the journal International Journal of Noni Research. A monograph on Noni is available.

Divine Noni Gold, Noni soap, Noni tooth paste, Noni shampoo, Noni oil, Noni tree etc are a few products.

Many testimonials are available on the role of Noni in imparting health and wellness.

The tree is listed under Future Crops.

P I Peter, Kirti Singh and K V Peter
World Noni Research Foundation
Chennai-96 India

Kanchan Lama WOCAN, Nepal

1.    If you were designing an agricultural investment programme, what are the top 5 things you would do to maximize its impact on nutrition?
1.    Gender disaggregated data: Lack of formal identity of women as the household head or as the primary level farmer, often marginalize their involvement in the project cycle. There is a prime need to establish them as the primary level stakeholders. Conduct Gender Analysis at community level to demonstrate women’s involvement in activity level and the gaps in their access to resources and the constraints they face due to unequal relationship in decision making power. The analysis will also document what indigenous knowledge the women already have and their use of local, nature based food items, such as seasonally available wild vegetables, herbs, fruits, birds, insects, etc. to improve nutrition. In the advent of modern food items, some rural communities residing near to road heads have been diverted from practicing their traditional knowledge, which is not helpful for both conservation of biodiversity of wild edibles and also for locally available organic nutritional knowledge systems.
( We can learn lessons from IPM, farmers field schools kinds of activities of FAO in field, where women have been used maximum limit to make project successful , however their indigenous knowledge have not been counted in nutritional aspects while making plans. In FAO’s inter regional project “Empowerment of women in irrigation and water resource management for improved household food security, nutrition and health” (WIN), an approach was managed keeping women at the central, where women were involved at every stage of the project, from planning to evaluation and their knowledge about wild vegetables, herbs, roots and fruits as food supplement was documented and used for knowledge management on nutritional food preparation. The approach was effective also through collaboration under the coordination of Ministry of Agriculture among Ministries of Health, Women and Water resources, as well as FAO , WFP and WHO. However despite much appreciation, the Government institutions could not further the process.)    
2.    Gender responsiveness of service providers: Conduct assessment of the responsible service providers (public agencies, NGOs) in order to identify the areas of support to be provided for sensitization, enabling organizational restructuring, reorientation through developing a Gender Action Plan along with an Operational Strategy including setting rules (policies, systems, mechanisms) for accountability towards nutritional impact of agriculture. Without this kind of interventions, the efforts made at small holder farmers’ level might remain to be a “temporary project approach” only and do not get mainstreamed in the strategic institutions.  ( Through “Women Organising for Change in agriculture and NRM”(WOCAN), I had facilitated a gender assessment within the Department of Agriculture in Nepal, where the then Director General (DG) Deep Bahadur Swnar remained highly supportive to bring in the senior level officials into the process. One Gender task force was formed and after developing ToRs for the task force collectively, the organization was assessed on gender mainstreaming in four pillars, e.g., political commitments, technical gender expertise, accountability and institutional culture. The strengths and gaps were analyzed and shared in the concerned groups. Later one Gender Action Plan was developed with indicators, of which some influence remained as of increase in number of women farmers in training (from 30% to 40%) and enhancing the already existing gender desk and gender working group, etc. However once the DG was transferred to another position, activities, focus remained weak in follow up and innovations. High budget cut in the government programs also caused certain constraints.  
(Case of leadership):  Another case of my work in Timor Leste inspired me which was some what different from Nepal. I used to work through UNIFEM as Gender advisor to Timor Leste Ministry of Agriculture and Fisheries between 2007 to 2009. I facilitated an organizational assessment to identify areas for gender mainstreaming, through a gender taskforce group formed for gender mainstreaming. My counterpart was Maria Fransisca de belo Asis and my location was in the planning unit of the ministry.  I was fortunate enough to get two organizational leaders , one planning Chief, Mr Octavio de Almeida and another Fransisca to take leadership on gender mainstreaming from within the institution. The ministry used the findings of the assessment and developed a Gender Action Plan , besides mainstreaming gender activities and budgets along with monitoring indicators  as a system in the annual work plans. Most significant and shocking experience was that the honorable Minister made an unforgettable innovation by taking drastic action to appoint seven senior women officials in positions of departmental heads out of twelve, while the former ones were given status of consultants. One National Ministry taking such initiative is extremely important to give women’s portfolio high importance and thus, the Timor Agricultural Planning Chief was also included in the National CEDAW reporting team 2008 in the DAW CEDAW reporting meeting at the UN, NY. My point is that until and unless there is organizational commitment at the level of leadership on gender mainstreaming, all the ad-hoc project efforts remain temporary and unsustainable. In case of counting on nutritional improvement in agricultural projects, women involvement is crucial at all levels, from grassroots to the top policy making level, besides sensitizing both women and men on the values in an organization)  
3.    Targeting women as the main stakeholders in agricultural program is the most important strategy for attaining nutritional objectives. The women are the ones who manage daily meals, at least for two to three times a day in developing countries. They are knowledgeable but need to be empowered on their self confidence for making decisions to plant green vegetables, use seasonally available locally grown nutritious food items for preparing food, specifically for the pregnant women and children and for themselves. With increasing trend of commercialized agriculture interventions made by development programs, certain challenges are being faced by the rural women farmers, such as,-(a) tempted to produce larger amount by using chemical fertilizer, (b) sale the best products and reduce consumption at household level, (c) spending maximum time and labor to produce double (more by women) and face health hazard, (d) the discriminatory social norms and values positioning women producers as the secondary party in making decisions, in accessing services, accessing technologies, accessing market and above all, deciding on preparation of household food that could be nutritious rather than tasty only. (Recently I worked in a USAID funded and Chemonics International implemented project titled as Nepal Economic, Agriculture and Trade Activity project (NEATACTIVITY) in Nepal (2011 onwards) . The project rigorously adopted certain practical strategy to target women, particularly from the socially excluded groups, defined by the National Development Plan of Nepal. The project achieved more than 39% women staff, around 80% farmer group level and more than 60% as women farmer leaders and some as demonstration farmers. All project training ensured more than 50% women participation. However the strategic reasons for including women remained limited only to their role as actors, less as innovators and change agents related to household nutrition. The project aims at double production, thereby interaction by agriculturist technocrats with women farmers takes the trend of asking about their potentialities to join (and compete..!!!) men in producing more than before, in crops and cash. Gender roles and gender needs practical and strategic requirements made less importance. The issue of the increased food for household nutrition was not a focus in the project. Although the project contained defined indicators on nutrition, it was not given much priority, because technocrats had to remain too busy in managing technical performance of the project, besides managing the issues of lack of public responsibilities for supplying chemical fertilizer in time and required quantity. Moreover, gender specialist was never included in management related discussion rather treated as a specialist for the field technicians only. Furthermore, there was not any budget separated for gender actions under the PIRs. I had very little scope to work except requesting the component managers to consider gender integration in their programmes, but in absence of indicators defined under each PIR, there was very poor scope for me to proceed. Thus despite having a very good intention, sometime technically structured agricultural projects having too high ambition on double food production, leave behind the human aspects of development, provided human development indicators do not form a part of monitoring.
In fact when any agriculture development project targets women, the project could be more meaningful if it related to the knowledge and skills and constraints of women at every step, benefiting project management as well as the household nutrition and health of the poor communities which is a big problem in developing countries. In Nepal more than 50% children below five years were found stunting -2011 National Survey of Health Status)
4.    Creating access to land, women friendly irrigation and credit: The poor women farmers face a situation of landlessness, lack of irrigation and lack of access to capital and credit. Organize alternative provisions for land use and credit for women. There are examples of collective firming by poor women groups and managing food for household nutrition and livelihood objectives in Nepal demonstrated by NGOs. Without making provisions for land and capital, credit, and micro irrigation, agriculture development cannot expect the poor women farmers in participation and benefit sharing.
(Case of WIN project: In the above mentioned WIN project,  pro-poor women from excluded groups were organized through inter governmental government line agencies integrated  planning approach to practice collective firming of vegetables to earn cash, increase purchasing power and to improve nutritional condition at household level.  The land was obtained from village development committees, and in some areas, from landlords who had run away to cities in the fear of Maoist attack, in some places women took land on lease for collective firming. The FAO/GoN (government of Nepal) project
Invited partnership with IDE (International Development Enterprise), WFP and GTZ for assisting irrigation services for these women groups. The approach went very effective and project could help the landless women to produce vegetables to consume and sale. What we learned was that..there are resources within out approach, but we need to collaborate and coordinate for utilization by the real pro poor target women farmers at the end , for production and nutrition as well as improving livelihood.  Land and irrigation are highly important for farmers)
5.    Strengthen women ‘s leadership capacity/networking: The poor women farmers are hesitated to voice their needs , both practical and strategic and take lead in claiming services. Despite some existing service provisions within various programs in Government, NGOs, they seldom get information and sensitization about what and how to capture such funds and assistance. Even if they are informed, weak public level leadership discourage them from taking interest in these provisions. Agricultural programs should include social mobilization, gender sensitization and women leadership building activities with appropriate budget allocation.  (investment on women’s leadership in various agricultural projects in Nepal turned out to be very fruitful. Specifically for two reasons, (a) women  farmers contributing more than 70% work in agriculture and (b) agriculture being feminized as a result of increased male migration for employment, women have been facing a situation where agriculture related activities have become their world. However due to socio-cultural discriminatory values and norms , due to traditionally established institutional barriers for women’s inclusion in service provider institutions , women face maximum constraints to access information, resources , services, technologies and markets related to agricultural production. Due to absence of males in the villages, the rural women farmers often face problems to manage cultivation in their land, often leaving land fallow. However there has been insignificant efforts for empowering women in the sectoral development agendas, such as agriculture , irrigation, trade , etc. without which no any agricultural projects can achieve sustainable results, at least in countries like Nepal, where women are displaced from important managerial discussion processes despite being recorded as more than half of the contributors in agriculture.)   
6.    Monitoring, coordination and collaboration and networking through and with gender experts and organizations are essential activities that any agricultural programmes must adhere to.

2.    To support the design and implementation of this programme, where would you like to see more research done, and why?
During appraisal level participatory research on “gender analysis in agriculture” (Harvard/FAO analytical framework) and analysis of gender differential impacts (Rani parker’s tool) , analysis of practical needs and strategic interests of women (Moser’s framework) are very important to form a part of research in the program appraisal-design, planning, implementation and monitoring stages. During the appraisal phase, a complete gender analytical research needs to be commissioned on basis of which the project design includes a gender action plan for integration.
As I mentioned above, the institutional assessment is equally important to facilitate an enabling environment for women farmers and policy makers to act through a joint approach.
During design phase, a rapid assessment of institutional status on gender mainstreaming is important to identify the necessary activities to plan for capacity building of the implementers. (case from leasehold forestry project is relevant here. IN 1999-2001, I worked as a FAO technical expert for a IFAD funded national program titles as Leasehold Forestry  and Fodder development project” (HLFFDP), where it was possible to identify need areas for building capacity of the government staff, including farmers. The Leadership given by the National project coordinator and the FAO’s CTA remained crucial for success on actions related to gender mainstreaming. The government staff involved in the project received an ad-hoc but government circulated job description to implement project level gender promotional activities. The research team on appropriate technology also adopted certain gender norms which remained very helpful to produce women friendly technologies in the field.)

3.    What can our institutions do to help country governments commit to action around your recommendations, and to help ensure implementation will be effective?
At the moment, FAO and such other multilateral agencies can help Nepal and other developing countries in the following areas:
•    Assist facilitation of implementation of the National Gender Action Plans through Sectors
•    Assist in research about women indigenous knowledge  about locally available species from forest, river, rocks and land, such as, roots, herbs, vegetables, fruits, etc. and establish list of their nutritional value
•    Support debates among activists, professionals to establish a definition on marginalization of women  from access to opportunities, services and benefits as the “Sectoral Violence against Women (SVW)”, which is not limited only to domestic boundaries but is severely faced by women within institutions governing agriculture and others
•    Review agriculture, trade and Irrigation policies and make them sensitive to women’s practical and strategic needs including values for indigenous knowledge on local food items
•    Conduct research on impacts of climate change (also bio diversity) on the poor women and children, specifically on maternal health and nutrition, make strategies to address the  identified issues/problems
•    Support exchange visits among women farmer leaders to develop confidence and power through regional networks
•    Assist research on women friendly technologies in the region so that Nepal can learn from others on improved technologies for women farmers saving time and labor and meeting market demands for quality.

FSN Forum Team Afghanistan
FSN Forum

Posted on behalf of James Levinson

Wonderful idea, Friends,
And thanks to Anna and Cristina for organizing.
A few thoughts below

1. If you were designing an agricultural investment programme, what are the top 5 things you would do to maximize its impact on nutrition?
Nicely spelled out in the IYCN guidelines. I'd simply follow these - and also be prepared to do mitigation where early monitoring sees negative nutrition results

2. To support the design and implementation of this programme, where would you like to see more research done, and why?
Carefully following actual efforts to incorporate nutrition in ag projects and documenting results - including the attribution of particular results to particular project activities.

3. What can our institutions do to help country governments commit to action around your recommendations, and to help ensure implementation will be effective?
Insist that new agriculture projects have food security/nutrition objectives (which then will be evaluated) or, at a minimum, nutrition impact statements (the latter permitting input on the project from groups such as ours.)

Ms. Angela Olegario International Fertilizer Industry Association (IFA), France

Dear Moderator,
I would like to kindly share this IFA/IPNI publication on “Fertilizing Crops to Improve Human Health: a Scientific Review” as it is probably the first of its kind.

Please find an abstract and the links below:

IFA/IPNI publication on “Fertilizing Crops to Improve Human Health: a Scientific Review”
Many studies have shown that enhancing crop attributes with the right fertilizer product at the right rate, right time and in the right place,  can vastly contribute to the health of humankind.  Given the important role of fertilizers in promoting food and nutritional security, it becomes all the more important to invest in research aimed at optimizing the benefits associated with their use.
Research needs to support the adoption of 4R - nutrient stewardship - to ensure that the right source is applied at the right rate, at the right time, and in the right place. This concept—embraced by the fertilizer industry—defines “right” as that most appropriate for addressing the economic, social and environmental aspects of sustainability, all three of which are critical to sustain human health. Coupled with appropriate strategic changes to farming systems toward production of a better balance of foods to address the true nutritional needs of the human family, an emphasis on 4R Nutrient Stewardship in agronomic research and extension will enhance the benefits and minimize the potential negative impacts associated with fertilizer use.
The International Fertilizer Industry Association (IFA) and the International Plant Nutrition Institute (IPNI)  recently published Volumes 1,2 and 3 online of the publication on “Fertilizing Crops to Improve Human Health: a Scientific Review”.  Volume 1 deals with food and nutrition security, Volume 2 on health-functional properties of food and Volume 3 focuses on fertilizer impacts on selected health risks associated with plant production systems.

Thank you.

Angela Bunoan-Olegario
Senior Agronomist
Agriculture Committee
International Fertilizer Industry Association (IFA)
28 rue Marbeuf  75008 Paris, France

Samwel Mbugua Egerton University, Kenya, Kenya
Samwel Mbugua

In my opinion the top 5 things to do to maximize impacts on nutrition would be;

1. At the planning stage incorporate a multi-stakeholder approach in the stakeholders platform to include nutrition practitioners to take care of nutrition interests.

2. Undertake a nutrition causal analysis that best shows likely pathways to nutrition outcomes for a given agric. investment and incorporate that in the baseline assessment indicators.

3. Include practical innovation systems that are cognizant of the food culture of beneficiary communities, capacity to benefit at cottage industry and household level, and not merely investments for mainstream markets and industries.

4. Considering much of the communities in need of this benefits have evolved over time through through subsistence food systems there at times solely for consumption there is need to integrate indigenous knowledge systems in to modern methods so as help individuals connect easily in to modern systems, and balance between consumption and market driven agriculture.

5. Undertake an impact assessment that captures nutrition outcomes and not only production and incomes expected from agricultural investments.

More research is needed to come up with a set of tools and frameworks that are harmonized and widely acceptable to measure agric. and nutrition outcomes based so as to provide a basis for cross cultural, season and regions learning.

On the government side it is important that governments come up with food and nutrition policies, this is the legal basis upon which governments can be made to account, and also the basis for financial commitments. In areas where policies exist their is need to track progress and support any weak links so as to make them practical and of direct benefit to communities.

Mohammed Shams Mekky Nagdy Mekky Agricultural Research Center, Egypt
Mohammed Shams Mekky Nagdy Mekky

Thank you for all members
What are the main approaches we collectively see as most important?
The main approaches are collectively as most important is: -
1 – Estimation a gap between productivity of the varieties under experimental research, demonstration fields and farmer conditions.
2 – The range of available suitable practical recommendations that can more effectively.
3 – The range of responses of farmers for these recommendations.
4 – The range of development recommendations with climatic exchange for over come of this exchange.
5 – Available suitable practical recommendations which easily application under farmers condition with law cost.
What are some practical recommendations that can more effectively promote, support, and guarantee the integration of nutrition into agriculture and food security investments?
Some practical recommendations that can more effectively promote, support, and guarantee the integration of nutrition into agriculture and food security investments: -
1 – Integrated pest and weed management by application more methods for over come pest and weeds control such as: -
A - Crops rotations. B - Seed bed preparation. C - Sowing resistance varieties.
D - Sowing recommendations numbers of plant/ unite area.
E - Application the recommendations fertilizer.
F - Sowing some crops have allelopathy effect on weeds in crop sequence with crop rotations.
G – Application technical recommendations pesticide or herbicide.
By followed integrated pest or weed control can be increased quality and quantity of productivity without environmental pollutions, for example: -
Effect of tillage systems sequence and some weed control treatments on some field crops
Two field experiments were conducted in clay soil at Sids Agricultural Research Station, to asses the role of tillage and weed control treatments on weed management through 2- year crop rotation in the period from 2003 to 2006. The first experiment was conducted to study the effect of three tillage systems i.e. to use mouldboard followed by rotary plow, chisel plow three passes followed by rotary plow and chisel plow two passes where these treatments were applied repeatedly every season through four summer and winter seasons in the same plot of every treatment three sub plots weed control treatments (pendimethalin, hand-hoeing and weed check) were distributed to study their effects on weeds and productivity of the different in the rotation. Results showed that increasing tillage by combining mouldboard or chisel plowing with rotary plowing decreased the total weeds biomass/m² by 29.2 and 38.5% and increased seed yield of faba bean by 12.7 and 10.3% than chisel plowing only in 2003/04 season and the respective values during 2004/05 season were 38.2 and 32.8% for weed biomass reduction and 25.8 and 3.2% for seed yield. Similar trends were obtained with the effect of tillage systems on weeds and yield of both maize and soybean. On the other hand , repeating tillage operations seasonally in faba bean decreased total weed biomass/m² by 34.0 , 17.6 and 24.5% in the third season compared to the first season with mouldboard rotary, chisel with rotary and chisel only in the same respective order. Pendimethalin or hand-hoeing resulted in significant decrease in the total weeds of all studied crops accompanied with significant increases in their yields.
The second experiment was conducted to evaluate the effect of tillage systems on the control of orobanche management in faba bean. Similar trends were obtained emphasizing that increasing tillage operation by combining mouldboard rotary plowing or chisel plowing with rotary plowing succeeded in reducing orobanche biomass/m² by 23.3 and 18.2% in 2003/04 season and by 41.4 and 33.4% in second season compared to chisel plowing only and causing increases ranged from the 4.0 to 20.2% of faba bean yield. Imazapic or hand weeding show also significant control of orobanche accompanied withsignificant increase in faba bean yield productivity. The role of tillage on controlling weeds may be attributed to the role of rotary or mould plowing in burying great proportion of weed seeds including orobanche to depths preventing germination of such seeds. The effect of various possible integration between both tillage and weed control methods were discussed emphasizing the importance of this integration on weed management tactics in studied crops. Other effects of studied factors on weeds or yield components were also recorded.

2 – Increased the area sowing of food plants.
3 – Increased quality of food artificial.
What research is needed?
The research needed is: - The important research which concentration on breading and improvement traits high yields, resistance of pest and disease, parasitic weeds and climatic exchange. Integrated pest and weed control.

Mohammed Shams Mekky
Weed Research Central Laboratory - Agricultural Research Center

Mr. Eder Ortiz Roca Universidad Nacional de Colombia, Colombia


In countries like Colombia,  politics and investment are directed to crops and sugar cane for biofuel, palm oil, coffee, cocoa and banana products that bleed the economy as they are exported as raw materials and do not represent large revenue the country, or skilled jobs, plus they do not represent any contribution to the nutrition of the consumer population. Given that investment and policy is directed towards non-food or low nutritional importance, it is very difficult to successfully implement horticultural solutions such as organic farming, consumption on farms, urban agriculture and family.

Dr. Lisa Kitinoja The Postharvest Education Foundation, États-Unis d'Amérique

Dear Moderators,

I would like to submit some answers the questions posed, based upon my fieldwork in horticultural development in over 20 developing countries and 20 years.
Based on your own knowledge and experience in the area of improving nutrition through food and agriculture programmes:

1. If you were designing an agricultural investment programme, what are the top 5 things you would do to maximize its impact on nutrition?

       #1: I would make sure the programme paid attention to more than the production of food and increasing yields

       #2: The programme would include interventions aimed at reducing postharvest losses, protectin nutirional value and food safety during the period from farm to consumer.

       #3: The value chain actors involved in food distribution and storage would be key stakeholders in the programme

       #4: Consumers would be provided with training on food storage, processing and cooking with the aim of improving nutritional quality of the food supply

       #5: Capacity building efforts in food and nutrition for extension workers, educators and government staff would be included in the programme.
2. To support the design and implementation of this programme, where would you like to see more research done, and why?

Many countries "know" they experience high levels of food losses and waste, but there has been little systematic measurement of the causes and sources of these losses. the first step to improving nutition and access to high quality foods is to find out where, when and why foods are being lost, damaged, or losing nutitional value (for exmaple due to temperature abuse or pest attacks).
3. What can our institutions do to help country governments commit to action around your recommendations, and to help ensure implementation will be effective?

Assist with capacity building efforts, for example by offering short courses, study tours, workshops, etc on agriculture, food and nutrition development in each region of the world.

Dr. Lisa Kitinoja
The Postharvest Education Foundation
PO Box 38, La Pine, Oregon 97739 USA
Website homepage: www.postharvest.org
Follow us on Twitter: @PostharvestOrg

Dr.Syed Md.Zainul Abedin Abedin

Dear All,
It is yet another important initiative of FSN for streamlining activities of food production and nutrition in the world under the auspices of the FAO of UN.
I am presenting my views against the three questions.

1. If you were designing an agricultural investment programme, what are the top 5 things you would do to maximize its impact on nutrition?

(a)I would conduct a survey across the country to identify the nutritional needs and deficiencies of the people of different age,sex,income and other relevant parameters to determine the possible direction of interventions.
(b)I would survey the availability of various nutritional elements from the locally produced crops,fruits,vegetables,fish,poultry,dairy and other sources for the above mentioned people.
(c)I would select the major food sources that supply the nutrition required by the people and focus most emphasis on these sources for interventions.
(d)I would organize coordinated and concerted programmes with the participation of relevant ministries,research,extension,credit and allied departments and universities in the government and private sectors to make a comprehensive action plan for implementation in phases.

2. To support the design and implementation of this programme, where would you like to see more research done, and why?

I would like to see more research on the following areas:
(a)Food varieties containing more nutritional values so that more nutrition may be available from less quantity of food
(b)Food safety issues to highlight safety in all stages to ensure food that are not adulterated,properly certified and safely consumed.
(c)Wastage or damage of food and nutritional contents in the field,shipment,
storage and distribution systems due to pests,diseases,infrastructural problem,management,regulation,corruption and for any other mismanagement.
(e)I would organize to bring all international donors,UN and other bodies working in my country to support the implementation of our action plans
under a single umbrella to ensure transparency and avoid duplication of activities, corruption and wastage of resources.
3. What can our institutions do to help country governments commit to action around your recommendations, and to help ensure implementation will be effective?
Your institutions can help country governments commit to action around my recommendations to help ensure implementation to make them effective by
providing technical,financial,logistic and management inputs.