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Orientaciones sobre las interfaces científico-normativas para los sistemas agroalimentarios - Proyecto de informe

La primera Estrategia de la FAO para la ciencia y la innovación (la Estrategia) es un instrumento clave para apoyar la aplicación del Marco estratégico de la FAO para 2022-31 y, por ende, la Agenda 2030 para el Desarrollo Sostenible. El fortalecimiento de las interfaces científico-normativas para los sistemas agroalimentarios es uno de los logros de la Estrategia (logro 1.2) que se enmarcan en el primer pilar “Fortalecimiento de la adopción de decisiones basadas en datos científicos y objetivos”.

En la Estrategia se establece que la FAO aumentará su contribución a las interfaces científico‑normativas a nivel nacional, regional y mundial a fin de respaldar un diálogo organizado entre científicos, responsables de las políticas y otras partes interesadas pertinentes en apoyo de una formulación de políticas inclusiva y basada en datos científicos y objetivos para lograr una mayor coherencia, responsabilidad compartida y medidas colectivas. El valor añadido de la contribución de la FAO consiste en centrar su atención a nivel nacional y regional, además de a escala mundial, con el fin de abordar cuestiones pertinentes para los sistemas agroalimentarios teniendo en cuenta, según proceda, información y análisis producidos por interfaces científico-normativas ya existentes, como el Grupo de alto nivel de expertos en seguridad alimentaria y nutrición (GANESAN), el Grupo Intergubernamental de Expertos sobre el Cambio Climático (IPCC) y  la Plataforma intergubernamental científico-normativa sobre diversidad biológica y servicios de los ecosistemas (IPBES), y permitir así un diálogo constante y eficaz a través de la arquitectura institucional proporcionada por los órganos rectores de la FAO.

En consonancia con la Estrategia, la Oficina Científica Principal de la FAO ha elaborado orientaciones para reforzar las interfaces científico-normativas para los sistemas agroalimentarios a nivel nacional. Se inició el trabajo con la organización de una consulta en línea con objeto de determinar y comprender los obstáculos y las oportunidades para que los científicos y otros portadores de conocimientos (quienes extraen sus conocimientos de otros sistemas de conocimiento, como los Pueblos Indígenas o los productores en pequeña escala, entre otros— contribuyan a sustentar políticas destinadas a lograr sistemas agroalimentarios más eficientes, inclusivos, resilientes y sostenibles. La consulta virtual tuvo lugar del 5 de diciembre de 2022 al 24 de enero de 2023. Se recibieron 91 valiosas contribuciones de 39 países.

Posteriormente, se encargaron dos documentos de referencia. El primero ofrece a nivel nacional una visión general de los modelos y actividades existentes para desarrollar y poner en funcionamiento sistemas científico-normativos y apoyar el uso de pruebas, y transformar así los sistemas agroalimentarios mundiales.  Se presentan tres modelos de alto nivel: el modelo centrado en la producción, el modelo orientado a las políticas y el modelo integrado. El segundo se centra en el nivel global para comprender mejor cómo operan las diferentes interfaces científico-normativas internacionales para abordar las complejidades de sus tareas. El marco conceptual identifica tres componentes clave de las interfaces científico-normativas que, operando conjuntamente, tienen el potencial de anticipar y responder a las necesidades y demandas tanto normativas como científicas: gobernanza, coproducción y aprendizaje.

A partir de los resultados de la consulta en línea, estudios de antecedentes para comprender las experiencias a escala mundial, regional y nacional, entrevistas a informantes clave, estudios teóricos, revisiones bibliográficas y un taller de expertos, se han elaborado orientaciones sobre el fortalecimiento de las interfaces científico-normativas a escala nacional. Este documento tiene por objeto ofrecer orientación a las personas que producen y utilizan pruebas, así como a los intermediarios que las gestionan en los Estados miembros y en las organizaciones asociadas. Está dirigido a las interfaces científico-normativas que se centran en la transformación de los sistemas agroalimentarios (o algún componente concreto de ellos) para contribuir a la consecución de los Objetivos de Desarrollo Sostenible (ODS), centrándose en las necesidades de los países de ingresos bajos y medios.

Las orientaciones incluyen, entre otros: elementos básicos que deben considerarse en las interfaces científico-normativas funcionales; principios como la fiabilidad, pertinencia, legitimidad, etc.; diferentes modelos de interfaces y las compensaciones y complementariedades entre ellos; interacciones a distintas escalas —es decir, entre interfaces de carácter nacional, regional y mundial—; mecanismos y métodos para la creación conjunta, integración y síntesis de conocimientos; competencias y capacidades de los agentes de los interfaces; opciones de seguimiento, evaluación y aprendizaje. Dado que las circunstancias cambian según el contexto específico, el enfoque no puede ser único, sino que es esencial adaptarlo a las necesidades nacionales. En consecuencia, el documento de orientación pretende ser un instrumento que facilite la reflexión sobre el avance de una interfaz científico-normativa, su posible alcance y mandato, y ponga en marcha un proceso de aprendizaje en torno a la misma. Podría considerarse a escala nacional en un proceso para fortalecer las interfaces científico-normativas existentes de los sistemas agroalimentarios o para establecer otras nuevas. Se prevé mejorar las orientaciones y que sean un documento vivo (mediante una nueva iteración de las mismas) aprendiendo de tales experiencias.

Como parte del proceso de elaboración de las orientaciones, la Oficina del Jefe Científico de la FAO lanza esta consulta electrónica para buscar aportaciones, sugerencias y comentarios sobre el proyecto de orientaciones.

PREGUNTAS PARA ORIENTAR LA CONSULTA ELECTRÓNICA

Invitamos a los participantes a debatir algunas o todas las preguntas siguientes (en función de su experiencia) y a proporcionar ejemplos, según proceda. 

1. Cuando piensa en promover interfaces científico-normativas para los sistemas agroalimentarios en su país, ¿cuál es el mayor desafío que las orientaciones de la FAO —tal y como se presentan aquí—, puede ayudar a abordar? ¿Qué sugerencias tiene para que la orientación sea más práctica y utilizable a nivel nacional?
2. ¿Son las secciones/elementos identificados en el proyecto de orientaciones los fundamentales para fortalecer las interfaces científico-normativas a nivel nacional? En caso negativo ¿qué otros elementos deberían tenerse en cuenta? ¿Hay otras cuestiones que no se hayan tratado suficientemente en el proyecto de orientaciones? ¿Están algunas secciones o temas infrarrepresentados o excesivamente representados en relación con su importancia?
3. Para que la orientación sea lo más concreta posible, incluimos numerosos recuadros/estudios de casos reales. En este contexto, por favor, contribuya con 300-450 palabras sobre ejemplos, historias de éxito o enseñanzas adquiridas de países que han fortalecido/están fortaleciendo las interfaces científico-normativas para los sistemas agroalimentarios, incluyendo el abordar las asimetrías de poder, la colaboración entre sistemas de conocimiento, la conexión entre escalas, las actividades de desarrollo de capacidades y el fomento del aprendizaje entre las interfaces científico-normativas.
4. ¿Existe información adicional que debería incluirse? ¿Existen referencias clave, publicaciones o conocimientos tradicionales o de otro tipo que no figuren en el borrador y deban tenerse en cuenta?

La Oficina del Jefe Científico de la FAO utilizará sus contribuciones y los resultados de esta consulta para seguir elaborando y perfeccionando este proyecto del orientaciones. Las actas de las contribuciones recibidas se pondrán a disposición del público en esta página web de consulta. 

Los comentarios son bienvenidos en los idiomas inglés, francés y español.

La consulta estará vigente hasta el 15 de mayo de 2024.

Agradecemos de antemano a todos los contribuyentes por leer, comentar y aportar observaciones sobre este proyecto de orientaciones, y esperamos vivamente tener una consulta productiva.

Facilitadora:

Dra. Preet Lidder, Asesora Técnica de la Oficina del Jefe Científico, FAO


Cómo participar en esta consulta:

Para participar en esta consulta, regístrese en el Foro FSN, si aún no es miembro, o inicie sesión en su cuenta. Descargue el borrador de las Orientaciones para su introducción e inserte sus comentarios a las preguntas guía en el cuadro " Cuelgue su contribución" en esta página web. Para cualquier asistencia técnica, póngase en contacto con [email protected].


 

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Dear FSN colleagues,

Please allow me to write to you in reference to the online e-consultation “Guidance on strengthening national science-policy interfaces for agrifood systems – Draft report”.

Kindly find the contribution of the Global-Hub on Indigenous Peoples’ Food Systems to the e-consultation.  

The Global-Hub on Indigenous Peoples’ Food Systems is a space of co-creation of knowledge between Indigenous and non-Indigenous experts from Universities, research centres, UN Agencies, Indigenous Peoples. The Global-Hub aims to generate evidence on the sustainability and resilience of Indigenous Peoples’ food systems whilst putting Indigenous Peoples’ knowledge systems and academic science at same level of respect and consideration. Today, the Global-Hub brings together 31 members and 2 collaborators. FAO Indigenous Peoples Unit acts as Secretariat.  

I remain attentive to any feedback that you might have.

Thank you very much and best regards,

Anne Brunel

Technical Officer

Coordinator, Global-Hub on Indigenous Peoples’ Food Systems

Indigenous Peoples Unit

Partnerships and UN Collaboration Division (PSU)

CONTRIBUTION

Contribution from the Global-Hub on Indigenous Peoples’ Food Systems to the FSN Forum e-consultation: Guidance on strengthening national science-policy interfaces for agrifood systems – Draft report.

  1. When you think about advancing an SPI for agri-food systems in your country, what is the greatest challenge that the FAO guidance, such as presented here, can help address? What suggestions do you have to make the guidance more practical and useable at the country level?

In its current form, the draft guidance does well to acknowledge Indigenous Peoples as key knowledge holders. This is a welcome advancement in comparison to narratives commonly used that refer to Indigenous knowledge without putting Indigenous Peoples at the centre and recognizing them as knowledge holders. 

However, when thinking about translating the guidance to national level, the draft could do more to further stress that Indigenous Peoples are also distinctive rights holders. Many countries still do not recognise Indigenous Peoples’ distinct identity and their associated bundle of rights (UN, 2007), nor their distinctive status as knowledge holders. Even where Indigenous Peoples are recognised as thus, their rights are often violated. This includes rights to self-determined development; free, prior and informed consent (FPIC); and rights to protect, maintain and control their knowledge, as enshrined in the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (UNDRIP). This also implies the right to respect their self-governance systems in decision-making and implementation.

The importance to respect those rights has been reiterated by Indigenous Peoples and leaders in recent several instances. In March 2024, the three UN Mechanisms on Indigenous Peoples, namely the UN Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues (UNPFII), the Special rapporteur on the rights of Indigenous Peoples (SRIP), and the Expert Mechanism on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (EMRIP), issued a joint statement recalling the importance to recognize Indigenous Peoples as right and knowledge holders. Consequently, they requested to stop the use of the term Indigenous Peoples in conjunction with local communities, as well as the use of the acronym “IPLC”. They also requested to refer to “Indigenous Peoples’ knowledge”, rather than to “Indigenous knowledge” in order to emphasize the ownership of Indigenous Peoples over their knowledge. In the same context, consideration should be given to the use of the terms “traditional” food and “Indigenous” food. Indigenous Peoples’ food should refer only to the use of the food by Indigenous Peoples, which would also be their traditional food.  Traditional food of other cultures should have the name of that culture or territory attached, and not be assumed to be the food of Indigenous Peoples.  The terms “indigenous food” or “Indigenous food”, meaning food species that evolved in a particular ecosystem, should be discontinued. 

In October 2023, the II Session of the UN Global Indigenous Youth Forum resulted in the 2023 Rome Declaration on Safeguarding Seven Generations in times of Food, Social, and Ecological Crisis, in which the Indigenous Youth urge to stop the exploitation of Indigenous Peoples’ food and knowledge systems by external actors. Whilst recognizing the power of their knowledge to support the sustainable transformation of food systems worldwide, they also demanded support for the preservation and strengthening of their knowledge systems based on Indigenous Peoples’ values and orality. Guidance such as this can help to address this challenge, urging countries to address violations of Indigenous Peoples’ rights as they seek to include and work them within SPIs.

The FAO guidance must emphasise that the development of SPIs must be accompanied by strong foundational, within-country support for Indigenous Peoples rights – or else, the SPI risks exacerbating Indigenous Peoples marginalisation, the exploitative use of their knowledge, and policy implementation excluding them. This emphasis could be brought out particularly within Section 5.1 (Operationalisation of an SPI), which currently does not mention engagement with rightsholders, nor associated processes such as FPIC.

A few suggestions to make FAO guidance more practical at country-level, could be to include:

  • Frameworks for good and ethical participatory engagement of Indigenous Peoples in decision and policy making processes. 

  • Provide guidance on mechanism for equitable benefit sharing to address power imbalance in benefit of Indigenous Peoples.

  • Provide guidance on clear and transparent mechanisms for conflicts resolution when Indigenous Peoples’ knowledge systems confront dominant scientific knowledge, leading to scientific recommendations and policies.

  • Case studies that highlight examples of successful work with Indigenous Peoples and integration of their knowledge in policies.

  • Tools allowing knowledge translation to ensure that Indigenous Peoples’ knowledge systems and associated terminologies, values, practices, know-how and cosmovisions, are accurately understood and valued within other knowledge systems, in particular the dominant scientific knowledge system.

  • Engagement with Indigenous Peoples to be completed in the local language, or with the assistance of local, Indigenous translators, to enable the participation and inclusion of diverse community members (particularly elders and women, who may be less likely to speak the dominant, national language).

Bodies of research highlight some cases where Indigenous Peoples recognize a need to gain technical knowledge and thus contribute to resource management led by techno-centric authorities. However, they express the wish to see two-way knowledge-sharing, where resource management authorities also learn about Indigenous Peoples’ knowledge systems (Stevenson 2006). This runs counter to common science communication practice which posit knowledge-sharing as one-way knowledge-transfer from techno-scientific authorities to local ‘lay’ actors (Ghorbani, et al., 2021). 

2. Are the sections/elements identified in the draft guidance the key ones to strengthen SPIs at the national level? If not, which other elements should be considered? Are there any other issues that have not been sufficiently covered in the draft guidance? Are any sections/topics under- or over-represented in relation to their importance?

In its current form, the guidance gives good recognition to Indigenous Peoples and their knowledge systems as critical to advancing sustainable food systems transformation. However, there is a tendency within the report to focus only on the inclusivity of diverse knowledge holders (such as Indigenous Peoples) on the “science” side of the interface. In contrast, on the “policy” side of the interface, the guidance currently underemphasises the importance of inclusion and participation of Indigenous Peoples in decision making and implementation, in virtue of UNDRIP and their right to self-governance. Especially given historical top-down processes of policy implementation, it is important to ensure that Indigenous Peoples are enabled to remain principal agents in the sharing and use of their knowledge and decide what and how policies are made that may directly or indirectly affect them, their territories, or natural resources. Currently, bottom-up approaches and community-level decision making are given only superficial mention within the guidance (page 44); instead, decisionmakers/implementers are assumed to be those already in power. The draft guidance should address this power imbalance within its reporting.

On the science side, scientists and science usually produce knowledge on priorities that are relevant to their discipline or their funders; similarly, Indigenous Peoples' knowledge is based on their own livelihood priorities and identified needs (e.g. can be decided at household and community levels relative to key risks experienced), therefore it is important to balance the participation of multiple knowledge holders. This will help to ensure the of knowledge shared with policymakers responds not only to the dominant science, but also to the knowledge holders.

The guidance could also do more to showcase Indigenous Peoples not as a homogenous group of knowledge holders but recognising the diverse array of Indigenous Peoples, cultures, spiritualities, cosmovisions, and thus knowledge holders often found across and within Indigenous Peoples’ communities. For example, within Indigenous Peoples’ communities, Indigenous women are often overlooked both as important knowledge holders (e.g. on matters relating to food gathering, seed selection and saving, biodiversity, and food preparation), as well as overlooked within policy and national statistics. Similarly, Indigenous elders often hold important knowledge on customary governance and territorial management practices, as well as medicinal plant use. 

The importance of knowledge transmission within Indigenous Peoples’ communities (e.g. between elders and youth, or between age and gender categories) is also important to the longevity and evolution of the science-policy interface.  In this regard, we also draw attention to the importance of Indigenous education systems, which promote learning and knowledge transmission on Indigenous Peoples’ knowledges and cultures. ‘Education’ is usually understood to mean ‘schooling’, and priority is often given to the voices of those that have higher levels of schooling and can thus converse more easily with western scientists – rather than those that have high levels of Indigenous education. The promotion of dominant educational models and participation of Indigenous children in formal schooling often undermines the transmission of Indigenous Peoples’ knowledge systems. The link between Indigenous education and the transmission and perpetuation of Indigenous Peoples’ knowledge systems should be fully recognized, and priority given to supporting those that have high levels of Indigenous education, even if they do not have high levels of schooling.

Diverse “formats/media” of knowledge must also be noted. For Indigenous Peoples, knowledge is often not written – but orally transmitted and/or performative, tied to specific places, things, experiences. Their knowledge systems are based on observations, know-how, local appropriate technologies, techniques, creation stories and ceremonial practices that they teach through storytelling, skits, popular folklore, songs, poems, art, dance, objects and artefacts, and during ceremonies (FAO, 2021). The strength of Indigenous Peoples’ knowledge in relation to the transformation towards more sustainable food systems lies in its local situatedness. 

Indigenous Peoples’ knowledge systems are bodies of science. Indigenous Peoples refine their knowledge systems through experimentation and accumulated observation of the environment, adjusting their responses over time. This has enabled Indigenous Peoples not only to understand natural cycles, weather patterns and wildlife behaviour but also to develop a day-to-day practical de facto experimentation based on this observation. Given their direct living and long-term exclusive interactions with their local ecosystems, Indigenous Peoples have developed abilities to know and understand their territories and resources as well as their functions and capacities. This final point of difference is perhaps most important in terms of identifying effective and sensitive food policy solutions. Acknowledging difference between different knowledge systems, as well as the local, cultural, spiritual, linguistic and cosmogonic aspects inherent to Indigenous Peoples’ knowledge systems, can still be of value to SPIs (FAO, 2021).

3. In order to make the guidance as concrete as possible, we are including numerous boxes/cases studies on real-life use cases. In this context, please contribute 300-450 words on examples, success stories or lessons learnt from countries that have/are strengthening SPIs for agrifood systems, including addressing asymmetries in power, collaboration across knowledge systems, connecting across scales, capacity development activities and fostering learning among SPIs.

Higher education institutions can play a key role in capacity development and collaboration across knowledge systems (Naepi, 2019). The Knowledge Makers Programme of Thompson Rivers University, Canada, is an example initiative that has successfully promoted Indigenous-led education, and imbued power and value to Indigenous Peoples’ knowledge. The Knowledge Makers programme began in 2016 and is a collaborative teaching initiative where Indigenous students learn how to research, and how to publish research, as Indigenous researchers. Based at Thompson Rivers University, The Knowledge Makers Programme bring together up to 20 Indigenous undergraduate students each year from across the university to learn how to ‘make knowledge’ through a multi-modal approach. The programme also boasts its own journal: the Knowledge Makers Journal is a peer-reviewed Indigenous interdisciplinary journal that showcases research from current and alumni Knowledge Makers, Indigenous staff, and Indigenous academics, along with ally scholars from Canada and internationally. For instance, the Knowledge Makers Programme has launched a special volume that included Indigenous students from the United States, Mexico, New Zealand and Australia. Since its establishment in 2016, over 100 articles have been published by Indigenous (mostly involving women) researchers. Most recently Knowledge Makers also completed a training program and launched a journal in collaboration with FAO that saw 16 Indigenous women from 16 different countries receive training and write up their research in their own volume of Knowledge Makers https://bit.ly/3P4l4EV

4. Is there additional information that should be included? Are there any key references, publications, or traditional or different kind of knowledges, that are missing in the draft, and which should be considered?

The White/Wiphala paper on Indigenous Peoples’ food systems (FAO, 2021) may be usefully included within the guidance. The publication of The White/Wiphala Paper ahead of the UN Food Systems Summit in 2021 marked a pivotal moment for the inclusion of Indigenous Peoples’ knowledge within science-policy processes relating to food systems. The paper comprised more than 60 contributions from Indigenous and non-Indigenous experts from six out of the seven socio-cultural regions and sought to characterise Indigenous Peoples’ food systems, the ways that they support diverse and nutritious diets, support biodiversity conservation and climate change, and the drivers they face. The drafting of the paper was motivated by the apparent lack of recognition and inclusion of Indigenous Peoples within the Summit agenda – indeed, in the build-up to the summit, many Indigenous groups considered boycotting the Summit due to their perceived exclusion. The White/Wiphala Paper was eventually accepted by the UNFSS Scientific Group as a key reference text for the Summit. Indigenous Peoples were included on the agenda of the Summit and the Coalition on Indigenous Peoples’ Food Systems was formed as a direct outcome of the Summit. The paper is a concrete example of successful collaboration between diverse knowledge systems, and the ways in which such collaboration can enhance equitable dialogue within SPIs.

We are pleased to see the emphasis on finding common vocabulary and conceptual frameworks on pages 39-40. In this vein, we draw attention to the ongoing work of the Indigenous Peoples’ Unit in FAO to amend the AGROVOC to include Indigenous Peoples’ terminology. Together with Open Institute, FAO works with Indigenous Peoples in the Pacific, Latin America and Africa region in order to connect terms usually used in policy discussions together with Indigenous Peoples’ terms and cosmogonies. The overall objective is to acknowledge commonalities and differences in languages, concepts and their semantic spread amongst the 5000 Indigenous Peoples’ groups worldwide in order to bridge the gap of worldviews, and foster better informed policy-making. Furthermore, Indigenous Peoples speak 4 000 out of the 6 700 languages remaining worldwide (UNDPI, 2018). As identified in the FAO and Alliance of Bioversity International and CIAT publication “Indigenous Peoples’ food systems: insights of sustainability and resilience from the front line of climate change” (2021), there are numerous examples of Indigenous foods that are not identified by neither the dominant language in the country, nor the Linnaean scientific classification. The publication gathers the profiling of 8 Indigenous Peoples’ food systems conducted by and with Indigenous Peoples and organizations, universities. This further emphasize the need to include Indigenous Peoples as knowledge and right holders to any policy discussions, making and implementation that would impact their territories or food systems.

Emphasis could also be placed on the importance of generating data differentiated for Indigenous Peoples, Indigenous women and Indigenous youth globally. This will improve the generation of knowledge based on the diversity of populations in the world, specially to understand the impacts of agrifood systems in the nutrition and health of Indigenous Peoples. The report by Anderson et al (2016) found that for indicators of malnutrition and obesity, Indigenous children in 8 to 10 countries had worse status compared with non-Indigenous Peoples – however it also noted the severe paucity of data on Indigenous Peoples from which to draw such conclusions. Science-policy interfaces can only be enhanced based on the availability of comprehensive and representative data from all populations across the world.

In Box 10, the guidance may also refer to existing guidelines on good research practice engaging Indigenous Peoples, many of which have been developed by Indigenous Peoples themselves. Examples include that of the Inuit Circumpolar CouncilSecwepemc Nation and University of Saskatchewan. 

As example, the Andean Potato Park in Cusco, Peru, provides example of an evolutionary plant breeding site managed by Indigenous Peoples. This park is a centre of origin and domestication for crops such as potatoes, quinoa, and amaranth. The Quechua people of the park have developed a collective and customary governance structure that includes learning and exchange systems, seed banks, and more. They manage a rich diversity of underutilized species and varieties, including ancestral populations of crops, based on Indigenous Peoples’ knowledge, values, and worldviews (Swiderska and al., 2022). 

References:

 

On behalf of Climate Smart Agriculture Youth Network Global attached is our input

 Policy Inputs for Strengthening National Science-Policy Interfaces for Agrifood System

1. Promote Knowledge Exchange through Pilot Knowledge Hub Farms (Centers of Excellence)

To bridge the gap between academic research and practical farming, we propose the establishment of pilot knowledge hub farms, designated as Centers of Excellence (CoE). These hubs will serve as dynamic interfaces where universities, research institutions, and farming communities collaborate. The CoEs will facilitate:

- On-Site Demonstrations: Researchers and agricultural experts can showcase innovative techniques and sustainable practices directly on the farms, allowing for real-time observation and learning.

- Workshops and Training Sessions: Regular workshops will be organized to disseminate the latest research findings and technological advancements to farmers.

- Collaborative Research Projects: Joint research initiatives between universities and farming communities will be encouraged, focusing on pressing agronomic issues and sustainable solutions.

- Data Sharing Platforms: Establishment of digital platforms for sharing data and research outcomes, ensuring accessibility for all stakeholders.

2. Highlight Agrihackathons for Innovative Farming Solutions

Agrihackathons provide a unique platform for fostering innovation in agriculture. These events can bring together farmers, researchers, technologists, and entrepreneurs to develop cutting-edge solutions addressing various aspects of farming. We recommend:

- Annual Agrihackathon Events: Organize national and regional agrihackathons to tackle specific agricultural challenges such as pest control, irrigation efficiency, and crop monitoring.

- Support for Prototype Development: Provide resources and funding for the development and testing of winning ideas, ensuring they can be scaled and implemented in real-world farming scenarios.

- Collaboration with Tech Firms: Partner with technology companies to offer mentorship, tools, and platforms necessary for participants to develop their ideas.

 3. Addressing Climate Impacts on Agriculture in 2024

In light of the increasing frequency of heat waves and heavy rains, it is crucial to integrate climate considerations into agricultural planning and policy. Our recommendations include:

- Climate-Resilient Farming Practices: Promote practices such as drought-resistant crops, improved irrigation techniques, and soil conservation methods.

- Advocacy and Awareness Campaigns: Launch campaigns to educate farmers about climate risks and adaptation strategies.

- Climate Data Integration: Utilize climate data to forecast and mitigate the impacts of extreme weather events on agriculture, ensuring timely interventions.

 4. Engage Young Researchers, Farmers, and Students through a Virtual Academy

Creating a safe and inclusive space for young stakeholders in agriculture is essential for fostering innovation and future leadership. The establishment of a Virtual Academy can facilitate:

- Inclusive Decision-Making: Engage young researchers, farmers, and students in policy dialogues and decision-making processes, ensuring their voices are heard.

- Educational Resources: Provide access to online courses, webinars, and discussion forums on sustainable agriculture and agrifood systems.

- Mentorship Programs: Connect young individuals with experienced mentors in the field to guide their professional development and innovative projects.

 5. Empower Women in Agriculture

Recognizing the critical role of women in agriculture, targeted policies should aim to enhance their participation and leadership. Key initiatives include:

- Skill Development Programs: Offer training sessions tailored to women farmers on modern agricultural techniques and business management.

- Access to Resources: Ensure women have equitable access to agricultural resources, including land, credit, and technology.

- Leadership Opportunities: Promote women’s involvement in agricultural cooperatives and decision-making bodies.

6. Create Common Platforms for Young Farmers

To foster collaboration and knowledge sharing among young farmers, we propose the creation of common platforms that include:

- Online Communities: Establish digital platforms where young farmers can share experiences, challenges, and solutions.

- Networking Events: Organize regional and national conferences and workshops that focus on youth in agriculture.

- Resource Hubs: Develop centralized hubs that provide access to agricultural research, market information, and funding opportunities.

By implementing these policy inputs, we aim to strengthen the science-policy interfaces, ensuring a more resilient, innovative, and inclusive agrifood system.

 

Orientations sur le renforcement au niveau national des interfaces entre science et politiques au service des systèmes agroalimentaires

1- Déjà envisager une interface entre science et politiques pour les systèmes agroalimentaires dans le contexte de la République du Congo,  n'est pas évident en dépit de toutes les mesures prises au niveau international. Le système alimentaire de la République du Congo dépend en grande majorité des importations, ce qui rend son système agroalimentaire incomplet et presque inexistant à l'exception du secteur de la production sucrière qui hélas dépend des capitaux étrangers en partie. A cet effet, les défis sont énormes et reste à être relever. L'émergence du secteur de l'extraction de l'énergie fossile rend quasiment impossible de telles réalisations. Des sensibilisations seules ne pourront être efficaces pour contrer le secteur des énergies fossiles, sont des incitations. Ceux-ci, pourront se voir comme des compensations contre des initiatives des secteurs d'extraction des énergies fossiles.

 

Dear FAO Office of the Chief Scientist,

On behalf of Bayer, I would like to highlight some successful initiatives that have strengthened science-policy interfaces for agrifood systems by effectively connecting policymakers, academia, and the private sector to address critical environmental and agricultural challenges, promoting the nexus between scientific research and policy development to ensure the safety and sustainability of our food supply and environment.

  • Society of Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry (SETAC)
  • International Society for Biosafety Research (ISBR)
  • Center of Excellence for Regulatory Science in Agriculture (CERSA) at North Carolina State University
  • Joint Institute for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition (JIFSAN)
  • International Cooperation on Pesticide Poisoning Prevention and Education (ICPPE)
  • Biotechnology Regulatory Immersion Course (BRIC)
  • OECD Expert Group of Biopesticides
  • The Intergovernmental Science-Policy Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (IPBES) - Assessment on Pollinators, Pollination and Food Production

 

Society of Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry (SETAC) 

After the mid-1940’s, a surge of academic and industrial research was concentrated on developing pesticides to improve agricultural production and feed a growing population. However, in the 1950s, large-scale use of certain pesticides resulted in unacceptable effects to wildlife. By the 1960s, citizen groups demanded advancing pesticide testing and assessment as well as stricter government regulations to help prevent effects of pesticides to wildlife. As an outcome of these issues and efforts, the Society of Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry (SETAC) was founded as a global, multi-partite, non-for-profit organization dedicated to advancing environmental science and environmental management. SETAC’s history is a story of the creation of science and policy forum that has been tailored to enable transparent, inclusive, effective, organized, and interdisciplinary dialogue among biologists, chemists, and wildlife toxicologists. SETAC’s legitimacy and success is its commitment to balanced scientific and policy interests of government, academia, and business. The society's by-laws mandate equal representation across these sectors for all activities.

SETAC’s multi-partite representation has worked collaboratively with many international organizations (e.g., UNEP, WHO, OECD) to advance the science and policy to assess pesticide safety, along with many other environmental issues. A prominent example of SETAC’s successful collaborations with UNEP was helping to provide guidance on the scientific basis for evaluating Persistent Organic Pollutants (POPs) under the Stockholm Convention. These collaborative efforts guided the development of science and policies that led to the phase out of many persistent, bio-accumulative and toxic pesticides. In addition, SETAC has had active and successful engagement with the Strategic Approach to International Chemical Management (SAICM) on several pesticide management capacity building projects. 

Another area where SETAC has impacted science and policy are the outputs from SETAC “Pellston” workshops. These workshops bring together experts to find solutions for important environmental issues and frequently focus on wildlife testing and assessment for pesticides that informs regulatory policies and decision making. An workshop to highlight was one that brought together 48 experts from government, industry, and academic and non-governmental organizations representing a range of expertise including toxicologists, biologists, beekeepers, and risk managers from North America, South America, Europe, Australia, and Africa. Participants developed methods to measure exposure, identified methods to measure effects of pesticides to bees and other insect pollinators, and developed a risk assessment process for pollinators. This workshop led to the framework developed and adopted in North America for assessing pollinator safety in agroecosystems, is now being adopted by many countries outside of North America and is a model for scientific societies to follow. 

 

International Society for Biosafety Research (ISBR)

The International Society for Biosafety Research (ISBR) aims to promote scientifically sound research that supports biosafety assessment by improving communication among scientists who study plants, animals, and microbes with new characteristics due to altered DNA and produced using modern biotechnology. Its membership is international in scope and includes researchers from academia, government bodies, and technology developers, as well as risk assessors and regulators. Some are promoters of genetically modified organisms (GMOs); others are more neutral on this topic or even skeptical. However, they all share a demand for solid scientific data with which to conduct deliberations.  Specific activities designed to achieve these aims are:

  • Organizing an international symposium focused on the biosafety of GMOs.  Starting in 1990, the "International Symposium on Biosafety of Genetically Modified Organisms" (ISBGMO) was the first initiative to alleviate the communication problem within the GMO biosafety research community.
  • Sponsoring scientific publications, including original work, that describe advances in the field of biosafety research.
  • Supporting a multidisciplinary approach to ensuring the safety of GMO products through a scientifically sound risk assessment that supports regulatory decision-making. ISBR aims to contribute to the specification of relevant issues such as the documentation of baselines and formulating scientific questions relevant to regulatory decision-making.

As an example, its most recent symposium in 2023 resulted in a publication on the topic of data transportability and saw representatives from regulatory agencies and companies attend from all over the world. Regulators who attend have also returned home with an updated knowledge of key scientific principles and have looked to organise local workshops to progress regulatory policy on key topics such as genome editing and stack regulation.

 

Center of Excellence for Regulatory Science in Agriculture (CERSA) at North Carolina State University

Regulatory Science is a field critical to the responsible advancement of agricultural-use technologies from concept, through research and development, to commercialization, and throughout the product life cycle. CERSA was created in 2018 to address the lack of university programs in specifically related to regulatory science in agriculture (https://cersa.cals.ncsu.edu/). The three pillars of CERSA are Education, Research, and Engagement. Engagement and collaboration with other universities and with relevant US federal agencies such as the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the US Department of Agriculture (USDA) are an important focus, but the Center also engages international regulatory and research organizations, along with key U.S. stakeholders in industry and the non-profit sector. Since its inception, CERSA has hosted multi-stakeholder workshops to foster collaboration. Some workshop topics include “Incorporating Higher-Tier Data in Ecological Risk Assessments and Risk Management of Pesticides”; “Incorporating the Benefits of Vegetative Filter Strips into Risk Assessment and Risk Management of Pesticides”, “Regulatory Policy for Genome-Edited Microbial Products for Agricultural Use”, and “Precision Application of Pesticides”. These workshop support the formation of working groups to continue engagement and progress on key topics. CERSA has also collaborated with USDA Foreign Agriculture Service on training and capacity building around risk assessment and maximum residue limits (MRLs) in developing countries. 

CERSA serves as the focal point of a multi-disciplinary study track for undergraduates to receive a minor in Regulatory Science. Students in majors such as Agronomy, Environmental Assessment, Political Science, or Fisheries and Wildlife participate in courses from each respective discipline to gain insight into the many fields involved in the risk assessment of agricultural technologies. Additionally, the Center offers a resident scholars program for graduate students in related degree programs. Continuing education is an additional benefit of the Center, offering government and industry professionals the opportunity to become knowledgeable with new developments in Regulatory Science such as emerging issues, policies, and new risk assessment tools. Paid internship programs are also available for students interested in gaining real-world experience in regulatory science. 

 

Joint Institute for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition (JIFSAN)

The Joint Institute for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition (JIFSAN) is a unique partnership between the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and the University of Maryland. Established in 1996, JIFSAN's mission is to improve the safety of the food supply through research, education, and outreach. The institute focuses on addressing food safety issues both domestically and internationally, working to develop innovative solutions and provide training and resources to food safety professionals.

JIFSAN's research efforts are aimed at understanding and addressing emerging food safety challenges, such as the impact of globalization on food supply chains, the rise of foodborne illnesses, and the development of new technologies for food safety monitoring and control. By collaborating with scientists, industry experts, and regulatory agencies, JIFSAN is at the forefront of food safety research and innovation.

In addition to research, JIFSAN is committed to providing education and training programs to food safety professionals. Through workshops, seminars, and online resources, the institute equips individuals with the knowledge and skills needed to ensure the safety of the food supply. JIFSAN also offers international training programs, partnering with organizations and governments around the world to improve food safety practices globally.

JIFSAN's outreach efforts extend beyond the research and education community, aiming to engage with industry stakeholders, policymakers, and the public. By fostering collaboration and communication, JIFSAN works to promote a comprehensive and holistic approach to food safety, addressing the needs of all parties involved in the food supply chain.

Overall, the Joint Institute for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition plays a vital role in advancing food safety through its multidisciplinary approach to research, education, and outreach. By leveraging the expertise of its partners and stakeholders, JIFSAN continues to make significant contributions to the field of food safety, ultimately benefiting consumers and the food industry worldwide.

 

International Cooperation on Pesticide Poisoning Prevention and Education (ICPPE)

In low-regulated regions, pesticide application safety remains a pivotal concern. Traditional methods used for operator risk assessment often derive from European or U.S. standards, which may not align with agronomic conditions in these areas. Recognizing this gap, the ICPPE project emerged as a collaborative endeavor, uniting global regulators (Europe, USA, Africa, Latin America), industry experts within CropLife International, and academic professionals (University of Maryland Eastern Shore).

Kickstarted in 2001, the ICPPE initiative has already achieved significant milestones. Central to these is the successful alignment on a shared goal and the establishment of a trust-driven environment among all stakeholders. The project team collated extensive data, and currently transitioning towards model development. The ICPPE initiative builds on five pillars and a common goal: Improving operator safety globally by lowering the hurdles for regulators to transition to risk-based decisions!

The project’s robust structure includes a foundational Steering Committee, backed by observers from the FAO and WHO. 

Four working groups drive the project:

  • Working Group 1: This group focuses on compiling global data for handset application user exposure, and is crucially working towards a model to best estimate operator exposure. Chairperson from German BfR.
  • Working Group 2: Addresses dermal absorption, a significant source of pesticide exposure. The group aims to determine default values for dermal absorption to refine risk assessments. Chairperson from Syngenta.
  • Working Group 3: Tackles Personal Protective Equipment (PPE), striving to identify realistic and effective PPE suitable for conditions in low- and middle-income countries. Chairperson from University Maryland.
  • Working Group 4: Using outcomes from the first three groups, this group is crafting a user-friendly assessment tool, emphasizing an intuitive interface and straightforward PPE recommendations. Chairperson from Bayer.

In each of the four working groups, the ICPPE project anticipates a balanced contribution from industry professionals, global regulators, and individuals from academia or independent organizations. The steering committee offers general guidance and is accountable for strategic decisions. Here too, representatives from industry (CLI, Bayer), regulatory bodies (BfR, BVL) and academia/third-party entities (UMES, FAO as observer) are equally represented.

Transparency remains at the heart of the ICPPE initiative. Decisions are consensus-based, and there's a strong commitment to keeping the entire process open. The eventual aim is to incorporate this assessment tool into the FAO pesticide registration toolkit, promoting a risk-based approach globally.

 

Biotechnology Regulatory Immersion Course (BRIC)

The Biotechnology Regulatory Immersion Course (BRIC) has been hosted by the University of Missouri and co-organized with the University of Ghent from 2009 through 2022. Given the ongoing need for public and government scientists, especially in less developed countries, that are well trained in the technical and societal issues associated with the evaluation of genetically modified (GM) crops, the program served a valuable capacity building function.  

The course consisted of a two-week in-person training program on global issues and impacts related to GM crop adoption and the associated international regulatory frameworks. The course had two blocks: The first week offered an introduction to biotechnology, to relevant national and international regulations, training in complying with biosafety regulations and impact assessment of regulations, as well as socioeconomic impacts of various biosafety regulations.  The importance of science communication as part of the regulatory process was also a key theme.  The second week included tours of biotech laboratories, field trials, farmers’ fields, and various segments of the grain supply chain. Instructors for the course were experienced scientific and legal experts coming from a wide range of institutions including government agencies, public and private sector product developers, academia and non-profit organizations.  

Participants from more than 40 countries have attended the course and included regulators, policy makers and stakeholders from the private and public sectors that were invited to the course to provide a diversity of perspectives, and ample opportunities to challenge instructors and ask wide-ranging questions.  The program was constructed to encourage dialogue and an exchange of experiences to foster trust building and community amongst the annual cohorts of program participants resulting in long-lasting connections. These connections and shared learning enabled course attendees to return to their home countries to help develop, implement and improve science-based biosafety regulatory systems that can facilitate the safe deployment of new biotechnology products. 

 

OECD Expert Group of Biopesticides 

The Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) is an international organization that works to build better policies for better lives. Its goal is to shape policies that foster prosperity, equality, opportunity and well-being for all. 

Together with governments, policy makers and citizens, OECD works on establishing evidence-based international standards and finding solutions to a range of social, economic and environmental challenges. From improving economic performance and creating jobs to fostering strong education and fighting international tax evasion, it provides a unique forum and knowledge hub for data and analysis, exchange of experiences, best-practice sharing, and advice on public policies and international standard-setting.

Specifically, the Working Party of Pesticides, in which the Expert Group of Biopesticides is a subgroup, was created in 1992 to help OECD governments share the work of pesticide registration and re-registration, harmonize the data and methods used to test and assess pesticide risk and to help OECD governments reduce the risks associated with pesticide use. 

[…] The Innovating Microbial Testing Guideline Conference, sponsored by the OECD Expert Group of Biopesticides brought together OECD Member countries, Academia, Non-Governmental Organizations, and Industry to discuss innovations needed for hazard testing of Biopesticides, specifically hazards concerning microbial pesticides as the current testing guidelines were developed for chemical pesticides. The outcome of the conference is to move towards efficient and tailored regulatory process for microbial pesticide products by increasing reliability of hazard data that supports microbial pesticide registration dossiers and subsequently the review of these dossiers by regulators. A recent success of the conference was the acceptance of a project proposal by the OECD Working Party of the National Coordinators for the testing guideline program that would adapt US EPA OPPTS mammalian toxicity and infectivity/pathogenicity guidelines to an OECD Test Guideline.

 

The Intergovernmental Science-Policy Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (IPBES)  - Assessment on Pollinators, Pollination and Food Production

The Intergovernmental Science-Policy Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (IPBES) is an independent, intergovernmental organization to strengthen the interface between science and policy on topics related to biodiversity and ecosystem services. It has a focus on sustainable development, conservation, and sustainable use of nature resources, and shares independent, reliable, and credible information with policy and decision makers. In these terms, IPBES provides governments, UN institutions, international nature conservation convention, and other decision makers with consolidated scientific information on topics related to biodiversity and ecosystem services. IPBES has been established in 2012 and currently has 136 member states. 

Activities of IPBES include the following focal areas:

  • Capacity building, prioritization of capacity needs, and the demand of data and knowledge with member states, experts, and other stakeholders
  • Provision of policy support and identification of suitable approaches, tools, and methodologies to support definition and implementation of policy measures, and facilitation of the development and the application of these approaches
  • Identification and prioritization of relevant scientific information for political decision-makers, and support of scientific knowledge gain 
  • Comprehensive, systematic assessments on key topics and methodologies on global and regional level
  • Stakeholder outreach and communication

In 2016, the IPBES Assessment Report on Pollinators, Pollination and Food Production was published. It is a fundamental, comprehensive, detailed evaluation of pollination as an ecosystem services, its importance for food production, status and trends of native and managed pollinators and plant-pollinator networks, the drivers of change to these systems and their impact, and possible policy responses to existing and emerging threats. The assessment was conducted over circa two years by a team of experts from all regions, comprising two Chairs, 19 Coordinating Lead Authors, 41 Lead Authors, 35 Contributing Authors, and 14 Review Editors. Much emphasis was put on the balanced composition of the authors’ team. Two of the Lead Authors were scientists from crop protection industry, in order to make sure that agronomic environmental safety perspective is covered. The authors analyzed a huge body of data, information, and knowledge, including circa 3,000 scientific publication. The Assessment Report has become the leading scientific standard reference on the topic of pollination and pollinators.

Dear sir/madam thank you very much (FSN) Coordinator body, I am engaging long time in agriculture's media sector. Along with pepino farming system in Nepal, I want to contribute my country from the Pepino Melon fruit propogation in the agriculture sectors.

I recognize the about the agriculture value how is important for men. I wish in terms of play role in agriculture sector from my side.

thanks for FSN Coordination team' and All of world FSN Members.

With best regards,

Dhanbahadur Magar

www.krishijournal.com.np; www.indigenoustelevision.com; www.krishi 

CONTRIBUTION

Backgound :

Nepal is a predominantly an agricultural country since prehistoric period. In 21 century Nepal adopting 65 % population engaged in agriculture sector. In this condition Nepalese agriculture gradually starting to decreased since 2 decade. Linking out the agriculture roadmap. Nepal agro system reaching near failure. Nepal government has trying to reforms the agricultural sector. But that have not reforms it. All of the concern sector are Worrying about Nepali's agriculture, How reforms to agricultural whole of the systems Nepal have trying to make restructure. 

Past, present, playing the important role to save the human life from the agriculture. Agriculture sectors Played significant role in Nepal from malla period in while initiate the human civilization It was remained till to 2090 AD long time through the agriculture way. Food and agriculture are important for the peoples everyone needs to eats. Without food, we can't survive, let alone do anything else. There are a lot of peoples in the world feeding the food from the earth to the around the eight billion peoples. We are depend on over Earth of our planet. There are concerns about whether our agriculture can persist into the future. Food and agriculture are crucial aspects of sustainable development around the world.

we are going to learn some major facets of food and agriculture as they related to sustainable development and other important individual and societal issues. We'll see how food is produced and how it affects both our health and the natural environment. We'll consider a variety of ethical and policy issues raised by food and agriculture. In the future being a considerable issues and to make the sustainable agriculture how can ensure to believable to the youths along with healthy food, better production, better nutritious.

Thousands of past year Nepalese people remain in ruled of feudal system. Poor people never rise their level they was poor in the various names. Its was working on feudal land policy. Government have passed verious related Policy, But Still is hindering to implementation secors. Now we are feeling remaining the same policy, Natural resources is still unable to solved issues. Land issues are our major issues, It is subject of debate issues are coming debates since long years ago. Nepal yet not implementation its raising the why government not solved, questions. being a current issue for peoples' who want to engage in farming sectors, who have no land they are still land less. Who have the knowledge about necessary do an agriculture and production. 

Guidelince on Strenghtening National Science-Policy Interface for Agrifood Systems-Draft Summerise Report : 

8 May 2024 In this contest, Nepal rising the little hope with it may bring agricultural revolution for the country. Its makes agriculture revolution Federation of Nepal's Madhesh Province irrigation hoping immediate reduced the imports of food from other country,  Increased Growth of Internal production may help reduce the trade loss. 

The SunkoshiMarin multi diversion irrigation project lately the tunnel have success to break through, and it is going to implement by investment from the Assistance of Fund management of Nepal Government, World Bank, Asian Development Bank other financial institutions. And coordination with Ministry of Irrigation and Energy resources, under Irrigation Department.   

And break through program inaugurated from Honorable Prime minister Puspkamal Dahal (Prachand) Nepal hoping that growth of foods Rice, Maize, Wheat cash crop like Vegetables and fruits. 

Its irrigate Madhesh Province region it already knowing the grain godown. It is our proud for economic development prosperity through the agricultural growth.

Likes the coded of bellows the subjected topics if Nepal government implement strick, no longer to avoid shortested the food crisis for Nepal. 

Its we implement Madhesh province at 5 districts Saptari, Sirah, Dhanusha, other Udaypur Inner Madhesh area around the 1 lakh 50 thousand hecters.  

In order to meet these problems, food systems must change in a way that encourages people to eat healthier diets from sustainable food systems, guaranteeing more equitable access to food and nutrition security. Numerous factors impede the advancement of more equal, fair, and sustainable food systems. These include the following: unequal treatment of women, undervaluation of sustainability concerns, a lack of participation from various value systems and Indigenous peoples' traditional knowledge, knowledge gaps about the relationships between various food system operations, and fragmented policies. For example, little is known about how trade regulation affects the environment, food habits, smallholder and Indigenous peoples' production methods, and gender equity issues. Policy makers are uncertain about how to incorporate food policies that support the transformation of food systems because of these gaps as well as the differing interests and values among constituency groups. Consequently, a significant investment in more effective science–policy interfaces (SPIs) and better, more pertinent knowledge systems is required. In order to support multi-sectoral and cross-scale policies that integrate food and nutrition security, public health, environmental sustainability, and societal wellbeing and equity, efficient SPIs must at least deliver on the following three priorities: the integration of research and data across food systems; the provision of a robust, transparent, and independent synthesis and assessment of knowledge, including scientific evidence and insights from the relevant stakeholders; and the provision of a pertinent, policy-related research agenda. By tackling these priorities collectively, we can establish an impartial, transparent, reputable, and authoritative consensus on scientific evidence and other forms of knowledge, which will help to resolve disagreements and uncertainties and close knowledge gaps.

Since then, FAO provides policy guidance and technical support to assist policymakers in establishing and implementing national and regional strategies, action plans, and programmes to develop a sustainable and circular bioeconomy in line with the Sustainable Development Goals, the Paris Agreement and other Multilateral Environmental Agreements. 

When you think about advancing an SPI for agrifood systems in your country, what is the greatest challenge that the FAO guidance, such as presented here, can help address? What suggestions do you have to make the guidance more practical and useable at the country level

Capacity Building: Provide capacity-building support to enhance the skills and knowledge of stakeholders involved in science-policy interfaces. This could include training programs, workshops, and mentorship opportunities to strengthen their understanding of scientific evidence, policy processes, and communication strategies.

a)Capacity Building: Invest in training programs and workshops to enhance the capacity of policymakers in understanding scientific evidence and methodologies. Likewise, scientists should be trained in communication skills to effectively convey research findings to policymakers in a clear and accessible manner.

International Collaboration: Facilitate collaboration and knowledge exchange with international organizations, research institutions, and networks working on similar issues. Lessons learned from other countries can inform domestic policy processes and enhance global cooperation on agrifood system challenges.

a)Interdisciplinary Collaboration: Encourage interdisciplinary collaboration and co-production of knowledge between scientists from different disciplines (e.g., agriculture, ecology, economics, sociology) and policymakers. Foster mutual learning and exchange of expertise to address complex agrifood system challenges from multiple perspectives.

b)Incentivize Collaboration: Provide incentives for scientists to engage with policymakers, such as recognition in academic evaluations, funding opportunities for policy-relevant research, and career advancement pathways that value science-policy engagement.

Engagement and Participation: Facilitate meaningful engagement and participation of diverse stakeholders, including farmers, industry representatives, civil society organizations, and local communities, in the science-policy dialogue. Ensure that their perspectives, experiences, and needs are adequately represented and considered in decision-making processes.

Evaluation and Monitoring: Develop mechanisms to evaluate the effectiveness of science-policy interfaces and monitor the impact of policies on agrifood systems. This feedback loop helps identify strengths, weaknesses, and areas for improvement in the interface.

By implementing these suggestions, countries can strengthen their science-policy interfaces and enhance the effectiveness of policymaking in addressing the complex challenges facing agrifood systems.

a)Monitoring and Evaluation: Establish mechanisms for monitoring and evaluating the effectiveness and impact of science-policy interfaces over time. Develop indicators and benchmarks to assess the uptake of scientific evidence in policymaking, the quality of policy outcomes, and the extent of stakeholder engagement.

b)Monitoring and Evaluation: The guidance should state the monitoring and performance evaluation process to be followed before the investigation begins. It should emphasize on sustainability and equity on agrifood systems. These protocols can be aligned with existing frameworks like the CAADP’s Biennial Review procedure.

Multi-Stakeholder Engagement: Foster collaboration among scientists, policymakers, farmers, industry representatives, civil society organizations, and other relevant stakeholders. This inclusive approach ensures diverse perspectives are considered and increases the relevance and acceptance of policies.

a) Multi-Stakeholder Engagement: Are the sections/elements identified in the draft guidance the key ones to strengthen SPIs at the national level? If not, which other elements should be considered? Are there any other issues that have not been sufficiently covered in the draft guidance? Are any sections/topics under- or over-represented in relation to their importance?

b)Multi-Stakeholder Engagement: Agriculture in every country, based on multiple crops and farming techniques, contains many sectors which can be dealt with independently but also holistically. Policy is the opportunity to install effective Material flow economic modelling which has to be initiated and managed at National level at least.

E)Establishment of Science-Policy Platforms: Create dedicated platforms or forums where scientists and policymakers can interact regularly to exchange knowledge, discuss emerging issues, and co-design research agendas and policy interventions.

F)Policy Coherence and Integration: Promote policy coherence and integration across relevant sectors (e.g., agriculture, environment, health, trade) to address interconnected challenges such as food security, climate change, and biodiversity conservation. Encourage the alignment of agrifood policies with national development priorities and international commitments.

G)Policy Briefs and Summaries: Scientists should produce concise policy briefs and summaries of their research findings tailored to the needs of policymakers. These documents should highlight key findings, implications, and recommendations in a format that is easily understandable and actionable.

g)Policy-Relevant Research: Encourage the conduct of research that addresses the specific needs and challenges of agrifood systems. This research should provide actionable insights and practical solutions to inform policy development and implementation.

H)Data Sharing and Transparency: Establish mechanisms for transparent sharing of data and research findings between scientists and policymakers. Open access to data and research publications facilitates evidence-based policymaking and fosters trust among stakeholders.

G)Long-Term Commitment: Recognize that building effective science-policy interfaces is a long-term process that requires sustained commitment and investment from governments, research institutions, and development partners. Foster political will and institutional support to prioritize evidence-informed policymaking and strengthen the role of science in decision-making processes.

G)Long-Term Engagement: Foster long-term relationships and ongoing dialogue between scientists and policymakers. This continuity ensures that scientific evidence is consistently integrated into policymaking processes and that policies are adaptive to changing circumstances. 

I)Infrastructure Development: FAO can support the development of agricultural infrastructure such as irrigation systems, storage facilities, and transportation networks. Improving infrastructure can help reduce post-harvest losses, increase market access for farmers, and enhance overall food security.

J)Technology Adoption: FAO can assist Afghanistan in adopting innovative technologies such as precision agriculture, drip irrigation systems, and mobile applications for weather forecasting and market information. These technologies can help increase agricultural productivity and improve resource efficiency.

Agriculture higher education: FAO can and should help in building agriculture educational institutions for long term and sustainable results not only in food security but in forest, environment, wildlife, livestock and fishery sector as well. 

C)Transparent and Accessible Information: Ensure transparency and accessibility of scientific information, data, and evidence to policymakers and stakeholders. Develop user-friendly platforms, databases, and knowledge-sharing mechanisms to disseminate relevant research findings, reports, and policy briefs in a timely and comprehensible manner.

FAO Guidance Utilization: The use of guidance implies creating inclusive platforms, where all agricultural sectors, regardless of their size participate, thereby enhancing policy relevance and acceptance. Taking this approach, the Voluntary Guidelines on Responsible Governance of Tenure (VGGT)  is supported because inclusive and participatory is shown as a vital decision making process (FAO, 2022).

a)FAO Guidance Utilization: The guidance is encouraged whereby traditional knowledge and scientific research are mixed to aid formation of policies; hence, the policies presented are considered to be thoroughly scientifically and socially accurate. This correspond with the FAO acknowledgement of the importance of traditional knowledge systems in the creation of sustainable agriculture and food security (FAO, 2009).

b)FAO Guidance Utilization: The guidance helps in developing the policies that can endure the impacts caused by climate change through the synthesis of relevant climate data and estimates into the management and planning of the agrifood industry. This align with the FAO’s Climate-Smart Agriculture (CSA) strategy which provides assistance in the adaptibility and resilience to climate change (FAO, 2013).

Challenge: Indigenous agricultural knowledge in the national policy; however, such resources are rarely considered in planning the formal agricultural frameworks (Abioye et al., 2014).

a)Challenge: Agriculture is affected by climate change more than any other sector and increasingly witnessing extreme weather such as droughts and floods.

b)Challenge: The existing agrofood systems in Nigeria are made up of different segments of the stakeholders including smallholder farmers, native communities, and urban food producers which may not have their voices always heard in policy talks.

Local Context Adaptation: Specify in the guidance an approach that is specific for one agriculture-related portrayals and facilities, such as improving the access of farmers to markets and improving upon the agriculture-processing technologies.

Governance Structures: The guidelines should include models that weathered similar global contexts effectively, and specially those that have robustly weathered political and economic instability. Examples of these strategies best practice are the National Agricultural Advisory.

Stakeholder Engagement: The draft should highlight the continuity of stakeholder engagement  by stating the various ways for this engagement for the SPI to always remain adaptable and responsive to the emerging challenges and opportunities. To support this, experiences from platforms like the Sustainable Agriculture Initiative Platform can be used.

 Additional Information Needs:

Success Metrics: The guidelines need to define unambiguous metrics to assess the quality of SPIs and their effectiveness in empowering agrifood systems in terms of crop productivity, yields, incomes of farmers, and sustainability indicators. The introduced metrics could align with frameworks such  the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) (United Nations, 2015).

Case Studies: Presenting more case studies that center on countries in Asian pacific regions, with particular emphasis on those which highlight the challenges and successes of SPIs as well as the local factors that contribute toward this success, would be a great source of information and also encourage the adoption of the best practices in the Nigerian environment. Significant examples include the Science Agenda for Agriculture and the Regional Universities Forum for Capacity Building in Agriculture.

Through customizing FAO projection to the direct impacts and corresponding suggestions, increaseness the effectiveness of its science-policy interfaces and stimulate a better development of sustainable and inclusive growth of its agrifood system.

Strengthening national science-policy interfaces for agrifood systems is crucial for informed decision-making and effective implementation of policies. Here are some suggestions to enhance these interfaces:

Focus on producing less policy documents, act more. FAO and several other UN agencies generated a lot of documents. Most of them under dust and shelves here and there in different countries. I think it is time to work, we have enough evidence of issues in various countries.

References :

Abioye, A. A., Zaid, Y. A., & Egberongbe, H. S. (2014). Documenting and disseminating agricultural indigenous knowledge for sustainable food security: The efforts of agricultural research libraries in Nigeria. Libri, 64(1), 75-84. https://www.ifla.org/past-wlic/2011/78-abioye-en.pdf

Chiaka, J. C., Zhen, L., Yunfeng, H., Xiao, Y., Muhirwa, F., & Lang, T. (2022). Smallholder farmer's contribution to food production in Nigeria. Frontiers in Nutrition, 9, 916678. https://doi.org/10.3389/fnut.2022.916678

FARA (Forum for Agricultural Research in Africa). (n.d.). Science Agenda for Agriculture in Africa. Retrieved from https://faraafrica.org/programs/s3a/.

Dhanbahadur magar

Dear Office of the Chief Scientist, 

The SPI presents a unique opportunity for meaningful change on the ground, allowing policy makers to use scientific and evidenced based information to design policies that transcend the existing gaps between science, research, technology, innovation, and implementation. The draft underscores the significance of private sector involvement in SPI implementation and highlights how the private sector's expertise, resources, and innovative approaches can enhance the effectiveness and sustainability of SPI interventions through: 

  • Financial investments in social protection and agricultural initiatives 
  • Technical assistance in program design and delivery 
  • Collaboration in value chain development to improve market access and agricultural productivity for smallholder farmers. 

The Private Sector stresses that SPI implementation necessitates collaboration among diverse stakeholders, including governments, non-governmental organizations (NGOs), civil society, academia, and the private sector and that multistakeholder partnerships are crucial for leveraging complementary strengths, resources, and networks to address complex challenges associated with poverty, food insecurity, and rural development.

The Private Sector calls on governments to play a pivotal role in creating an enabling policy environment and facilitating partnerships between the public and private sectors to contribute valuable insights, community networks, and research expertise based on science and evidence to SPI programs.

Strategies to facilitate private sector engagement and multistakeholder partnerships in SPI implementation which are supported by the private sector, include: 

  • Leveraging private sector expertise in designing and delivering SPI interventions, particularly in areas such as program management, technology adoption, and market-based solutions. 
  • Engaging private sector actors in value chain development to enhance agricultural productivity, market access, and income opportunities for smallholder farmers.
  • Promoting public-private partnerships (PPPs) to facilitate the delivery of SPI services and infrastructure, leveraging the respective strengths of both sectors.
  • Ensuring SPI recommendations are based on science and evidence. 

On behalf of the Private Sector Mechanism to the UN Committe on World Food Security.

Dear Office of the Chief Scientist of FAO,

Our response addresses point 3. 

Plants for the Future ETP (Plant ETP) is a multistakeholder platform representing the plant sector from fundamental research to crop production and distribution. Plant ETP brings together stakeholders from the plant sector, including academia, the seed and breeding sector, agricultural service providers, and the farming community. Together the members consider the challenges and opportunities of agrifood value chains in a holistic way, while developing a vision for future systems spanning food, feed, and biobased raw materials. Plant ETP works at the European level, to promote the flow of innovation to the market for the benefit of society. This is done through its three missions. 

  • providing strategic direction for the research and innovation (R&I) needs of the plant sector to ensure the solutions of tomorrow will be readily available
  • promoting science-based policymaking to support the plant sector and enable the translation of research for the benefit of society
  • increasing awareness and appreciation of the importance of plant sciences and plant breeding for our agri-food system

In this way, Plant ETP works at the science-policy interface, acting as the link between policymakers and agrifood stakeholders, to support the transition towards more environmentally and socio-economically sustainable agrifood systems.

Dear Office of the Chief Scientist of FAO,

The Institute of Food Technologists (IFT) appreciates the opportunity to provide input to the consultation, “Guidance on strengthening national science-policy interfaces for agrifood systems – Draft report.” As a global organization of approximately 11,000 science of food professionals, we believe science is critical for establishing evidence-based policies to ensure a global food system that is sustainable, safe, nutritious, and accessible to all. Please find attached our comments and feedback,

Sincerely,

Institute of Food Technologists

CONTRIBUTION

Dear Office of the Chief Scientist of FAO,

The Institute of Food Technologists (IFT) appreciates the opportunity to provide input to the consultation, “Guidance on strengthening national science-policy interfaces for agrifood systems – Draft report.” As a global organization of approximately 11,000 science of food professionals, we believe science is critical for establishing evidence-based policies to ensure a global food system that is sustainable, safe, nutritious, and accessible to all. We are pleased to see this draft report that provides aspirational, structural, and procedural guidance for the development of science-policy interfaces (SPI) and addresses several of the concerns raised in our previous comments on barriers and opportunities for scientists to contribute to informing policy for agrifood systems. We would like to provide the following feedback and perspectives based on guiding question 2, provided in the consultation.

“Are the sections/elements identified in the draft guidance the key ones to strengthen SPIs at the national level? If not, which other elements should be considered? Are there any other issues that have not been sufficiently covered in the draft guidance? Are any sections/topics under- or over-represented in relation to their importance?”

The draft guidance highlights many opportunity areas to strengthen SPIs at the national level and has appropriately drawn attention to the need to integrate knowledge from both scientific research as well as practical knowledge from local/Indigenous Peoples’, small scale producers, and consumers. We agree that connecting empirical science and applied science is critical for the development of effective policies that strengthen agrifood systems.

Based on our previous comments on barriers and opportunities for scientists and other knowledge holders to contribute to informing policy for agrifood systems, we were pleased to note that the draft guidance addresses some of the barriers identified, such as a need for training on how scientists may engage with policymaking as well as the importance of engaging in conflict, particularly related to interpretation of science, in a constructive and transparent manner. We also emphasized several additional barriers and opportunities, many of which are included in Annex 2 of the draft guidance (“Building capacity for evidence-informed policy in governance and public administration in a post-pandemic Europe”, from the European

Commission’s Joint Research Centre (JRC) and Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD)). For example, Annex 2 and our previous comments point out that there is often misalignment of priorities between the policy environment and other sectors, such as academia, resulting in little professional recognition and limited remuneration or reward for academic scientists to engage in policymaking or evaluate the usefulness of their scientific activities for policymaking. We agree with Annex 2, that to address this barrier and increase motivation and awareness of science for policy, mechanisms need to be incorporated at the organizational/institutional level that incentivize policy engagement for scientists. However, the draft guidance itself does not address this or several of the other barriers mentioned and does not provide insight on how the learnings of the JRC may inform the future guidance for SPIs. We would encourage the draft report to elaborate on how the work of the JRC and OECD may help inform further iterations of this draft guidance as it seems a robust evaluation of many operational and process barriers.

IFT applauds the work of the FAO Chief Scientist Office in the development of this important draft guidance to guide the development and operationalization of SPIs. We believe quality science and the inclusion of all forms of knowledge is critical to establishing evidence-based policies to transform the food system to ensure food and nutrition security for all. Science of food professionals play a critical role in generating scientific knowledge for policy development and welcome further dialogue on overcoming barriers to better integrate science and policy.

Please contact Anna Rosales, Senior Director Government Affairs and Nutrition ([email protected]) if IFT may be of further assistance.

Sincerely,

Anna Rosales, RD

Senior Director Nutrition and Government Affairs Institute of Food Technologists

 

What suggestions do you have to make the guidance more practical and useable at the country level?  The FAO may want to  address the criticism described below if they expect to make their guidance more usable at the country level 

"The New Colonialist Food Economy -How Bill Gates and agribusiness giants are throttling small farmers in Africa and the Global South," https://www.thenation.com/article/world/new-colonialist-food-economy/

“Africa is being recolonised: Seed sovereignty as a form of resistance How Kenyan farmers are reclaiming Indigenous practices from cultural colonialism" https://shado-mag.com/do/africa-is-being-recolonised-seed-sovereignty-as-a-form-of-resistance/

I currently cannot get the seeds I need for potential projects in 17 of 21 African countries. I want to work with my FAO science and technology friends and admire their expertise.. 

GUIDANCE ON STRENGTHENING NATIONAL SCIENCE POLICY INTERFACES FOR AGRIFOOD SYSTEMS. DRAFT REPORT

In view of the subject above; the policy should revolve round science and technology in mitigating food insecurity and climate change. This is an essential tool in meeting the current demography witnessing in the world today. If this tech is made available for all, to access across the nations, Zero hunger and Climate change would be realized in no distance time. Agricultural science and technology is not just to promote and meeting food security globally but also to mitigate climate change globally.

Adopting a realizable policy, a concise research development should be made available, especially in the global south that will help mitigate food crisis, waste, shortage and climate change. It is a narrative that could change the mode and concept of operation and give new meaning to agricultural sector globally. The world should leverage on ‘blended mechanize farming’ for agricultural sustainability.

Meanwhile, there is need for the best policy to resonate and thrive locally, national and globally that will evolve best practices for national support productivity mechanism for science and technology. Subject to this effect, building resilience that fosters the demand and supply for world demography from agricultural sector, this should be look into, ‘Agri-Students in the universities and researchers’. However, the need also varies by countries, due to national interest that determines policy formulation and implementation globally and nationally. They are factored in this form;

1.      Technical support

2.      Funding

3.      Research

4.      Programme collaboration and partnership

5.      Science and technology innovation hub etc

Every nation knows it needs to scale-up in agricultural sector, food security in their country. Demography explosion has taken land use in the world especially in the global south causing climate change because of deforestation in these countries. It has really affected nations with little care or not for the available forest in the land. It can also be as a result of lack of implementation and technical know-how and technological defect in these nations.

Some nations have refused to move or shift from local or traditional practice of farming (subsistence) to a more modern practice of farming which advocate for modern tools, mechanize farming that help manage the soil strength, nutrient and fertility in the area because of scientific knowledge. However, no disputing the fact of traditional farming technology which our parents practice and ensure natural food, vegetarian and produce kept human longer and healthier those days in the global world.

But science has made known that the explosion of demography has subsumed the natural habitant for cultivation which necessitated the use of technology and mechanize farming globally that help sustain the ever glowing population in the world. This is where the issue of over emphasizing of technology and mechanize farming has harper the traditional practice (small farming) which has also driven a lot from the rural to urban settlement. The migration has become enormous that the cities are now congested, over populated because of this avert effect of science and technology that have not be well manage or practice in the global south.

There is need to reiterate, this avert effect and call for a mixture of technology/mechanize and traditional farming that will provide for natural food, nutrient for healthy living and growth. This might sound awkward but is the fact and reality of agricultural practice in the world that affects the world today.

In my own opinion, nations should give priority to science and technology, and traditional farming which will prioritize blended cultivation, blended farming. This will keep and secure our environment and make it healthy. It should be projected in the universities by agricultural science students, researchers and farmers for continuous innovation. Therefore, emphasis should be lay on the natural plantation that mitigates climate change, thereby reducing migrants from migrating from rural to urban settlement and (ie with support of government infrastructures), that boost economic resilient and prioritize national farming science and technology scale and protect the environment with little damage.

These are policy that could strengthen national agricultural science scaling with conjunction or collaboration with FAO in nation(s). If the policy revolve round this factors that have been fertilized, it will experience a better partnership and collaboration for better management for world demography and climate change.

Thank you.

Esosa