This member participated in the following discussions
Dear Luca, the chair of the Open-Ended Working Group on MYPoW
and the members of FSN-Forum,
Firstly, thank you very much for inviting us for the inputs on the "selection and prioritization of the CFS activities for the biennium 2016-17". Please let me share my little concern to be addressed in the CFS activities as follows:
After the revealation by the Lancet Series in 2008 and in 2013, the global community has taken the agenda of child malnutrition with a very high priority and the most of activities are revolving around this them. The Scaling Up Nutrition, SUN is the global movement, which has reinforced the past efforts in convincing the global and national leaders in investing for this area. As identified by the Lancet studies, the 13 nutrition specific interventions as well as other complementary nutrition sensitive development efforts, which includes nutrition- sensitive agriculture.
Similarly, CFS's vision states " ....The CFS is and remains an intergovernmental Committee in FAO. The reformed CFS as a central component of the evolving Global Partnership for Agriculture, Food Security and Nutrition will constitute the foremost inclusive international and intergovernmental platform for a broad range of committed stakeholders to work together in a coordinated manner and in support of country-led processes towards the elimination of hunger and ensuring food security and nutrition for all human beings........" , which has clearly stipulated the nutritional well-being of all. Now, the global situation urges us to focus on the nutritional improvement of young children.
I think, it's a very high time for CFS to reciprocate with the global efforts in nutrition from the part of agriculture to improve the nutrition of women ( pregnant and lactating) and children ( 6-24 m0nths) through nutrition sensitive agricultural interventions. The existing workstream " Responsible Agriculture Investment (RAI) principle has the essence in broader term. However , it's necessary to make it more specific to make it aligned with the existing global efforts i.e. SUN. I , therefore , propose " Nutrition- Sensitive Agriculture for Improved Nutrition of Women and Children " as one of the workstreams or otherwise can be integrated into the existing workstreams. This can include the activities such as :
- -Advocacy to the national governments, development partners, I/NGOs and CBOs/CSOs on nutrition sensitive agricultural investments
- -Coordination all the sectors for converged and comprehensive and nutrition education to the communities
- -Advocacy to the stakeholders to make food consumption in terms of dietary diversity and nutritional indicators as the progress indicators of agricultural projects
- -Advocacy to the stakeholders to increase the supply through value chain development of nutritionally important crops and livestock and at the same time increase the demand by social marketing and intensive nutrition education
- - Putting efforts in scaling up of some of the proven approaches such as Trials of Improved Practices ( TIPs) on nutrition and feeding of children and women as FAO has already tested and has gained a overwhelming acceptance in some countries
Thank you and best regards,
Dear Moderators and the members,
It's really a great effort in making food systems more nutrition sensitive with the focus on improving the nutritional status of women and children. The food systems, traditionally, are more nutrition sensitive providing the subsistence to the families. Now, the efforts are in the direction of making agriculture and food system more profitable so that the system remains economically and financially viable so that it continues to provide nutritionally balance food supply to the whole population.
The priority effort , now, should focus on integrating nutritional aspects in the agri-food systems without distorting its major focus of creating more profit. Both the supply side and the demand side should be supported with the necessary knowledge of nutrition. The supply side should be supported in developing value chains of nutritionally important crops and livestock and the demand side , the consumers should be well informed with the importance of balanced diet and nutritional well being.
While talking of nutritional quality of diets, the aspects of safety and general quality of food is very important, which normally, is overlooked. This 'Accord' has mentioned the importance of safety but needs to improve a bit, with the importance of improving the quality and safety of food system, with appropriate legal and institutional set up for inspection and certification at all levels.
The environmental aspect is important but it's more important to fulfil the nutritional demand of the population. The focus, therefore, should emphasize that the food systems become more nutrition aligned with environmental aspects considered as far as possible.
Please find some specific comments as attached :
With best regards,
Purna Chandra Wasti
Senior Food Research Officer
Department of Food Technology and Quality Control
Dear Moderators ( Jody and Leslie),
What an excellent and timely topic !
I am very much enlightened with all the expert views on the topic from around the world. I hope this effort will help our ideas to cross the our own boundary and reach the real actors of agriculture.
This is the time in our history, where nutrition has been given so much priority through many initiatives. One of them is recent Scaling Up Nutrition (SUN) Initiatives which has gained a lot of attention from all the stakeholders including the donor community. SUN has equally emphasized on nutrition specific as well as nutrition sensitive interventions. In this context, the topic is very much relevant.
Once again the multi-sectoral role has been re-emphasized and the role agriculture can play has also been amplified. However, the efforts are still running short to orient the agriculture sector in the direction of fulfilling nutritional goals. The traditional role of agriculture has almost been forgotten in agriculture plans and policies. There are a a lot of efforts in making agriculture more profitable through commercialization, value addition and other market related interventions.
As a result of advocacy efforts at international level, some of the countries ( as per my experience Nepal, Malawi and Uganda) countries have started adopting the term " food and nutrition security" in agriculture plans, policies and programmes. But in spirit, they have even deviated traditional "food security". The donors like World Bank and other are more interested in making agriculture more profitable not more nutrition-sensitive.
In addition, the following are some of the lackings in the developing countries especially in Asia and Africa:
1. The agricculture professionals are not well oriented on the importance of agriculture in solving the problem of malnutrition.
2. The agriculture extension system is not well- trained to deliver the knowledge and skill on making agriculture more nutrition sensitive.
3. The agriculture extension and health delivery system work separately, which completely overlooks the role of agriculture extension workers in sustainable solution of malnutrition.
4. The whole agriculture system has inadequate knowledge base on how to make the agricultural programmes and projects more nutrition friendly.
5. The governments and the international actors for nutrition ( in most cases UN-UNICEF) has partnership with the health system, which has very less reach to agriculture system.
What can be done to make the agriculture and food system more nutrition sensitive ? Here are some points, these are not evidence supported arguments, but these are the experience based readings :
At Policy Level :
1. Governments should have a broader food and nutrition policy , where agriculture can be a part of the whole policy framework.
2. Wide participation of various stakeholders in the process of formulating policies.
3. International agencies including UN, should facilitate the process, build capacity and support but not create dependency.
4. The donors like world bank should also support projects with agricultural diversification not only for profitability but also for better nutritional outcomes
5. The industry should be encouraged and promoted for producing more nutritious products rather than empty calorie, fashioned junk foods.
At Implementation level :
6. Orientation, training of the agriculture cadres from top to the grassroots on programming for nutrition sensitive agriculture.
7. Training of farmers, themselves on making agriculture more nutritious by using innovative techniques such as rotational cropping, combinaiton of agriculutre and livestock, inter-cropping( beans in banana plantation, soybeans and beans with maize etc.)
8. The farmers should be educated not only the marketability of the particular crop but also the nutritional importance of it.
9. Nutrition education should be intensified through all the possible channels- schools, mass media etc. so that the demand for nutritionally important agriculture produce will be increased.
10. Nutrition Education is very important ( as highlighted by FAO Colleagues) for all the projects, even the agricultural projects with the objectives of income generation.
11. Capacity building of agriculture extension workers not only on better farming but also on post harvest handling, processing and storage.
12. Academic institutions should offer courses education which promotes sustainable food and agriculture based interventions.
13. A greater partnership at least among agriculture, health and academia, if possible, education, local development.
14. Involvement of NGOs and CBOs in policy as well as other implementation level dialogues.
15. Private sector has an important role to play through social corporate responsibility by making their business more profitable and creating more employment and at the same time making it more nutrition friendly.
16.The children are the future of the nation. Involving children at schools as a change agents for nutrition sensitive agriculture will be very effective in adopting new agricultural and other food related practices.
These are not the exhaustive list but some triggering ideas, which can be helpful in keeping agriculture on track so that it not only provides livelihoods for millions poor farmers, makes agriculture more profitable, creates more employment, earns foreign exchange, at the same time if planned a little bit carefully helps solve the problem of malnutrition.
Now or never. Time has come, let's act now at our level and remind the policy makers of the conventional role of agriculture, make it a little bit of nutritious. No problem agriculture can earn more money, let's educate the farmers to spend wisely for the nutrition of the family.
Once again, I would like to thank the moderators and wish all the success in raising this issue to a greater height.
All the best,
Senior Food Research Officer
Department of Food Technology and Quality Control