Global Forum on Food Security and Nutrition (FSN Forum)

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    • Dear FSN Moderators, 

      Thanks for inviting more comments. Kindly find some barriers and suggestions to overcome the same in research systems under the following head.

      Analysis of the complexities and practical problems associated with science-policy interfaces

      • Do you have an understanding of how agrifood systems policy is enacted in your country or at the regional or international levels?

      The policies are enacted in legislative assemblies, located at the federal level. Enabling policies and their implementation strategies are refined at the administration level. In addition, the National Institute for Transforming India (NITI) develops policies at the national level. The Directive Principles of State Policy of India are the guidelines to be followed by the government of India for the governance of the country. The Policy Maps have been designed to provide meaningful insights for various government functions with a special focus on Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). The maps for SDGs provide detailed insights into how India is faring in the achievement of the 17 SDGs.

      • Are you aware of opportunities to contribute science, evidence, and knowledge to policy at national, regional, or global levels?

      Science plays an important role in policymaking as policymaking is evidence-based. However, scientists have a limited role in that. Therefore, neither the policies are updated, nor the scientists are updated about the emerging policy-making instruments and strategies.

      • What kind of knowledge and evidence is privileged in such processes?

      Biophysical sciences (seed, feed, market, etc. in agriculture) are given more privilege in such processes. However, the role of social sciences (project formulation, producer organization development, etc.) is yet to be acknowledged.

      • What are the strengths and weaknesses of the processes you are aware of?

      The biophysical sciences have a field network to transfer the production and marketing-related hardware. Along with that resource-poor farmers and fishers need mobilization, mentoring, and monitoring strategies for their entrepreneurial, empowerment, and environmental restoration frameworks. This may be worked out by strengthening the social sciences of universities and further linking them with farmers, fishers, and entrepreneurs.

      • What opportunities and challenges have you faced for drawing from sustainability science, interdisciplinarity, and transdisciplinary to inform policy?

      The research is conducted in basic, applied, and social sciences. Basic sciences have the advantage of having access to instruments and desk research. Hence they are able to publish better to achieve higher positions and then further support their juniors. The applied sciences need fields to work. Such vast fields are rarely available. Therefore, they come out with lesser publications and have lesser chances to be promoted to an authoritative position and support their juniors.  The social sciences have to work outside their campuses with the fishers, farmers, field professionals, etc. They are not supported by transportation and data collection facilities. Therefore, they remain at the lower level of the power structure.



    • Dear FSN Forum Manager, 

      I had the opportunity to once again go through the report (FAO, 2022. FAO Science and Innovation Strategy, Rome). This report helped me understand the framework needed for an innovation system.

      1. However, I could not see how this report could capture the importance of extension systems as an important component of the science and innovation strategy. Food systems require up-to-date knowledge to compete in the market, and small-scale primary producers cannot afford to participate in formal education systems for such an extended period of time.
      2. I felt that it needed to be seen from the perspective of extension systems, which is also important from the science and innovation perspective in agriculture. The knowledge developed by higher education institutions also needs to be transferred, especially to small-scale producers, to promote entrepreneurship, equity, and the environment. 
      3. All these need "project formulation" and "community organization development" strategies. The social scientists working in higher education institutions, especially in agriculture and related subjects, need to conduct research in this direction. Therefore, please incorporate extension education into the framework of science and innovation. 
      4. Otherwise, in the third outcome of the first pillar (evidence-based decision), where there is a mention of "research and development,"  we can modify it as "research and extension to achieve SDGs" (as the word "development" lacks clarity to some experts), and later this can be elaborated on that.

      The above suggestions are submitted for your kind consideration. 




    • Your organization's initiative was a very interesting one. Today, science professors are expected to be the drivers of society. Unfortunately, this is not always the case. To strengthen the connection between professors, practitioners, and policymakers, I offer the following perspectives.

      1. After Covid 19, it is becoming more evident that poverty and prosperity are driven by professors, practitioners, and policymakers.

      2. When professors and practitioners in a society have a relationship based on worth, that is, to promote entrepreneurship, equity, empowerment, and the environment, society's worth rises to the next level.

      3. When politics pollutes professors and practitioners in society by indoctrinating birth-based identities based on communities and places of birth, the policies benefit a few while marginalizing many in society.

      4. Therefore, the professors have to be mobilized, mentored, and monitored to promote the worth-based relationship between the policymakers and the practitioners.

      5. If such an initiative is taken to streamline the research systems, the planet earth will be a worthy place to live.

    • Dear FSN - Moderators, 

      The inequity is a serious issue that your organization has rightly pointed out. Therefore, kindly register some of my views on that.

      1. By failing to address equity, one invites distrust, affiliation with adversaries, and polarization against governance. On the other hand, no individual in society can be considered equal. People who are creative will be able to produce more goods and services. 

      2. The World Economic Forum (2017) has published the Inclusive Development Index (IDI) with indicators, like growth and development (GDP per capita, employment, labor productivity, and healthy life expectancy), inclusion (median household income, poverty rate, income Gini, and wealth Gini), and intergenerational equity (adjusted net saving, public debt as a share of GDP,  dependency ratio, carbon intensity of GDP). With poor, innovative, equity, and environmental health mobilization, the population may rise with an urge to produce more children who can collectively earn enough income to ensure food, health, and education security for the family.

      3. In the United States alone, 0.1% of Americans enjoy 90% of the country's wealth, and in this situation, there is a need for an alternative economic system that respects ecological diversity, the environment, democracy, and social-economic equality, as well as facilitates fair and reasonable redistribution of income and wealth (Siddiqui, 2018).

      4. Between 2009 and 2014, there was an increase in China's inequality, since people who support socialism are also inclined to be distrustful, and so, these findings suggest that rising inequality could have political repercussions. 

      5. As a result, machinery replaces labor in capitalist economies. This leads to unemployment. The amount of working hours per day is reduced in socialist countries. As a result, workers become sluggish and uncreative.

      6. As the capitalist system cannot employ all the students passing out from the education system, and the socialist system is observed to promote laziness and lack of ambition; some students are drawn to (social) entrepreneurship to address, employment, equity, and the environment. As a result, universities and their extension networks should place a premium on student (social) entrepreneurship. 

      7. However, less innovative individuals who are unable to compete in the market will always remain. As a result, they may want lower-cost technologies, simple communication methods, and more and more coordinated participation in extension projects. Involving small-scale producers in the development of a cooperative procurement, production, processing, and promotion system may thus aid in bridging the rich-poor divide. Thus, the most substantial support that can be provided to displaced or idle persons from the capitalist and socialist systems, respectively, is providing additional educational assistance (through extension education programs) and job mentorship. This may also enhance the purchasing power of less innovative individuals while creating demand for goods and services created by more innovative individuals.



    • Greetings, Évariste Nicolétis and Paola Termine.

      Reducing inequalities in food security and nutrition has long been a global challenge addressed by prophets, philosophers, and social scientists. Nonetheless, it is a significant issue that causes polarization and unrest. The following are a few ideas that you might find helpful.

      1. Previously, during the medieval period, religion could indoctrinate certain beliefs that were accepted according to the current logical understanding, even in the absence of evidence, and could even deliver food to those who could not access it. People could access resources to produce food because the population was smaller.

      2. At the moment, scientific farming has increased food availability and accessibility to a larger population. However, a large population lacks access to resources for food production.

      3. The Extension Systems developed by higher education institutions, universities, technical departments, voluntary organizations, private organizations (engaged in input and marketing), public distribution systems, and associated ethical issues are the only institutions that need to be strengthened to make it happen.

      4. As a result, there is a need to develop a comprehensive extension framework to address the issues of "increasing inequality and food insecurity," particularly when there is a food, fuel, and fertilizer crisis caused by pandemics, conflicts, and climate change.