IFPRI Director General releases “The Way Forward” statement

IFPRI Director General, Shenggen Fan

In his closing remarks, Dr. Shenggen Fan, Director General at the International Food Policy Institute (IFPRI), referenced "The Way Forward" statement, a synthesis of the conference organizers' conclusions intended to stimulate international debate on the way forward and action.

Said Fan, "(A)fter three days of deliberations, what do we have to offer? Over the course of this conference, we have seen a great deal of enthusiasm, a lot of good ideas, and a new openness to dialogue across sectors. How do we channel that energy into new ways of thinking and acting? To help launch a conversation about the next steps, we at IFPRI have prepared a “Way Forward” Statement with input from the Conference Advisory Committee. This statement proposes some initial ideas about how we can get started and is based on four building blocks.

First, fill the knowledge gaps.
We need to invest much more in learning about the links and the best ways to exploit them.

Second, do no harm.
The links between agriculture and health and nutrition can be both beneficial and detrimental, so, let’s minimize the cases in which the three sectors work at cross-purposes.

Third, seek out and scale up innovative solutions.
So far, examples of interventions that combine two or three of these sectors are rare, but they do exist, and we should build on them.

Finally, create an environment in which cooperation can thrive.
Partnerships, communication, and mutual accountability can create incentives for working together.

This Way Forward statement is a living document subject to further debate and change. We invite you to go to the IFPRI website to contribute your own comments."