Global Forum on Food Security and Nutrition (FSN Forum)

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    • Dear FSN Moderator:

      We address all guiding questions in guidance on strengthening science-policy interfaces (SPIs) for agrifood systems at the national level. Please find the attachment. 
       

      Peetambar Dahal, PhD

      Subject Matter Expert (Food Loss and Waste Cohort 5)

      Seed Scientist (Retd.), University of California, Davis, USA

      Former Coordinator of NRNA Americas to Agri Promotion Committee; Asta-Ja RDC-USA; Nepalese Agricultural Professional Association  (NAPA)

      Contributors:

      Peetambar Dahal, Kent Bradford, Pedro Bello, University of California, Davis, USA; Aditya R. Khanal, Tennessee State University, Nashville, Tennessee, USA; Johan van Asbrouck, Shakeel Imran, Rhino Research, Bangkok, Thailand; Irfan Afzal, University of Agriculture, Faisalabad-38040, Pakistan; Keshavulu Kunusoth, President, ISTA and Govt. of Telangana,  Hyderabad, Telangana State, India; Filippo Guzzon, Bioversity International, Rome, Italy and Centre for Pacific Crops and Trees, Suva, Fiji; Denise E. Costich, Institute for Genomic Diversity, Cornell University, New York, USA; Louis Barboza, Universidad de Costa Rica, Costa Rica; Muhammad Amir Bakhtavar, MNS University of Agriculture, Multan, Pakistan; Maraeva Gianella, Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew, United Kingdom; Durga D. Poudel, Asta-Ja USA and University of Louisiana at Lafayette, Louisiana, USA; Sarah De Saeger, Centre of Excellence in Mycotoxicology and Public Health, Ghent University, Belgium; Krishna Belbase, United Nations Children’s Fund, New York, USA (Retd.); Ravi Kafle, Dept. of Public Health, Washington State, USA; Meghnath Dhimal, Ministry of Health, Kathmandu, Nepal; Sundar Tiwari, Agriculture and Forestry University, Chitwon, Nepal; Balkrishna Joshi, Krishna Timsina, Nepal Agricultural Research Council, Kathmandu, Nepal.

      Agrifood policies at the national level should aim to improve quality. The dry agrifood systems should use science guided and quantifiable seed equilibrium moisture content (Me) trait. Me, (% dry weight) was calculated by Cromarty et al. (1982) using seed intrinsic traits, where R is Relative Humidity/100, Do is seed oil content (proportion of dry weight), T is temperature (°C).

      For practical purposes, we have further elaborated R and Me measurement tools (Bradford et al., 2016). There are multiple effects of high Mon dry product quality such as decline in seed viability, susceptibility to insect and toxic mold infestation, and nutrient losses. Inability to manage the Me results into losses at farms. The multidisciplinary dry chain (Bradford et al., 2018) has been recognized to reduce farm food losses in the developing countries (https://agrilinks.org/post/cold-and-dry-chain-reduce-food-loss-and-waste). Furthermore, FAO FSN forum has also realized the utility of the dry chain to address calls including agrobiodiversity and nutrition (https://www.fao.org/fsnforum/comment/12332https://www.fao.org/fsnforum/comment/12377). 

      During the pandemic, the Lancet Planetary Health appreciated food contaminant minimizing dry chain and Integrated Pest Management (IPM) to improve immunity and health (Dahal et al., 2020). USAID Food Safety Innovation Lab has been launched in 2022 aiming to minimize contaminants in both low and high moisture content products (https://ag.purdue.edu/food-safety-innovation-lab/). Thus, the Science-Policy Interface must consider food safety issues in both low and high MC food/feed groups. The dry chain is a recent scientific, climate smart and pesticide-free intervention for complementing safety and security of dry agrifood products.

      Additional Resources:

      Bradford, K., Dahal, P. and Bello, P. 2016. Using relative humidity indicator paper to measure seed and commodity moisture contents. Agri. Env. Eng. Lett.1;160018. https://doi.org/10.2134/ael2016.04.0018.

      Bradford, K.J., Dahal, P., Van Asbrouck,J., Kunusoth, K., Bello, P. Thompson, J. and Wu, F. 2018.  The Dry Chain: Reducing postharvest losses and improving food safety in humid climates. Trend Food Sci Tech. 71: 84-93. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.tifs.2017.11.002.

      Cromarty AS, Ellis RH, Roberts EH. 1982. The design of seed storage facilities for genetic conservation. IBPGR, Rome.

      Dahal, P., Dhimal, M., Belbase K., Tiwari, S., Groopman, J., West, K., Pollock, B., Pyakurel, S., Acharya, G., Aryal, S., Ghimire, Y. N., Neupane, M., Poudel, R., Van Ashbrouck, J., Kunusoth, K., De Saeger, S., De Boevre, M., Gharti-Chhetri, G., Gurung, T. B. & Bradford, K.J. 2020. Improving nutrition and immunity with dry chain and integrated pest management food technologies in LMICs. Lancet Planetary Health, 4:e259-e260. https://doi.org/10.1016/S2542-5196(20)30143-1.

       

    • Dear FSN-Moderator: Kindly help us to publish the following in response to the call on agrifood systems transformation; 

      "In response to the current call on agrifood systems transformation, we would like to direct the readers to our multidisciplinary approach to improve food safety, productivity and nutrition security highlighted by Agrilink USAID (https://agrilinks.org/post/cold-and-dry-chain-reduce-food-loss-and-waste) and comments in FAO-FSN Forum on best practices and scalable solutions for the integration of biodiversity into agriculture (https://www.fao.org/fsnforum/comment/12332)."

      Regards

      Dahal et al. 

      Peetambar Dahal, PhD

      Subject Matter Expert (Food Loss and Waste Cohort 5)

      Seed Scientist (Retd.), University of California, Davis, USA

      Former Coordinator of NRNA Americas to Agri Promotion Committee; Asta-Ja RDC-USA; Nepalese Agricultural Professional Association  (NAPA), USA

    • Dear FSN-Moderator, 

      In response to your call for experiences, best practices and scalable solutions for the integration of biodiversity into agriculture, our team describes a dry chain technology recently appreciated and highlighted by the Agrilinks, USAID. 

      Peetambar

      Peetambar Dahal, PhD

      Subject Matter Expert (Food Loss and Waste Cohort 5)

      Seed Scientist (Retd.), University of California, Davis, USA

      Former Coordinator of NRNA Americas to Agri Promotion Committee; Asta-Ja RDC-USA; Nepalese Agricultural Professional Association  (NAPA)

    • Dear FSN Moderator:

      Please include the following contribution on the above topic.

      "The hidden costs of agri-food systems transformation are related to making the foods safe and nutritious. In contrast to the cold chain that has been used for decades to minimize nutrient losses and improve food safety of high moisture content products, the dry chain was realized and proposed recently in 2018 for low moisture content seed/food/feed products.  We have previously elaborated on the need to implement the dry chain at farms to make low moisture content seed/food systems sustainable and safe.  In addition, we have gathered and produced research evidence including through a research project in collaboration with UNICEF-Nepal. 

      Here, we would like to share the link by USAID Agrilinks that has embraced and appreciated the dry chain to reduce food losses in the developing countries “Cold and Dry Chain to Reduce Food Loss and Waste”. Since dry food losses in the developing countries are associated with infection by toxic molds and insects, and nutrient decline in the storage, there is an urgent need to embrace and disseminate novel intervention soon after harvest to enable dry seed/food/feed systems to be safe and sustainable.

      Peetambar Dahal and Krishna Belbase (Formerly with UNICEF, New York)"

      Subject Matter Expert (Food Loss and Waste Cohort 5)

      Seed Scientist (Retd.), University of California, Davis, USA

      Former Coordinator of NRNA Americas to Agri Promotion Committee; Asta-Ja RDC-USA; Nepalese Agricultural Professional Association  (NAPA)

    • This suggestion refers to the data value chain and conceptual matrix (Example 4; page 17).

      Food safety is recognized as one of the cross-cutting issues in nutrition. However, both natural (mycotoxins) and artificial (pesticides) food contaminants are widespread in food systems in many developing countries, compromising nutrition and health. Good Agricultural Practices and Integrated Pest Management (IPM) could reduce the food contaminants in both low and high moisture foods. Postharvest good practices like cold chain for high moisture content foods improves quality by minimizing nutrient loss. Analogous new dry chain management for low moisture content foods/feeds products could protect annual dry product losses to rainfall/floodings and insect and toxic mold infestations, improve disaster resiliency, food security, and trade ratios.

      Thus, cross cutting issues and policyies should include food contaminant reduction strategies in both low and high moisture content food/feed products and sensitive monitoring programs as in the developed countries.

       

      Bradford KJ, Dahal P, Asbrouck JV, Kunusoth K, Bello P, Thompson J, Wu J (2018) The dry chain: reducing postharvest losses and improving food safety in humid climates. Trends in Food Science and Technology 71: 84-93. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.tifs.2017.11.002.

      Claes J, De Clercq D, Denis N, Fiocco D, Katz J (2021) How to reduce postharvest crop losses in the agricultural supply chain? McKinsey & Company. https://www.mckinsey.com/industries/agriculture/our-insights/how-to-reduce-postharvest-crop-losses-in-the-agricultural-supply-chain.

      Dahal et al. (2020) Improving nutrition and immunity with dry chain and integrated pest management food technologies in LMICs. Lancet Planetary Health 4:259-260. https://DOI.org/10.1016/S2542-5196(20)30143-1.

    • Why we are not able to protect dry foods from annual floods?

      The title illustrates the status of food security in the developing countries (Nepal, India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Thailand and beyond) where a basic food science knowledge has not been used. Immediate consequence is national food crises, toxic foods, and need to ask donors. However, the donors provide partial rotten food in disasters (famine, droughts, earthquake) Illustrating the prevalent global knowledge.

      We published in 2018 that dry seeds and foods at farms must be protected from water using Dry Chain (Trend Food Sci Technol 2018, 71: 84-93), also used in pharmaceutical, processed food and seed industry. When dry seeds/foods get wet, insects and natural carcinogenic molds flourish and nutrients decline. The toxins are transferred to milk and meat products through feeds and affect health of animals and about 4 billion people.

      Dry Chain: Dry food to “milling moisture content” at harvest and store in water-proof bags (Dry Chain) to improve the value chain, minimize insects and toxigenic mold proliferation, and nutrient loss.

      Increases current yields by ~ 25% by minimizing storage losses.

      Improves food trade ratios (Annual food import is about 1/3 of losses).

      Enables quality food stocks locally in each country.

      Increases biodiversity by conserving local germplasms.

      For Fall/Winter/Spring harvest, Sun dry and moisture-proof packaging.

      For rainy season harvests, artificial dry and moisture-proof packaging.

      There is further need to minimize artificial toxins (pesticides) in fruits and vegetable using Integrated Pest Management and sensitive monitoring. A drawn border stand-off occurred between Nepal and India on food toxins (Lancet Planetary Health 2020; 4: 259-260). Food toxins are primary concerns in the developed countries, but profit is primary objective in developing countries. The nutritionists need to take a leading role to help minimize both natural and artificial toxins in foods to complement nutrition and health security.