New IFPRI 2020 Conference Book: Reshaping Agriculture for Nutrition and Health

To commemorate the 1st anniversary of the Conference, IFPRI has compiled the background briefs originally commissioned for the event and subsequently peer-reviewed and revised. The 23 chapters in Reshaping Agriculture for Nutrition and Health, edited by Shenggen Fan and Rajul Pandya-Lorch, examine how much more agriculture could do to improve human well-being if it included specific policies, actions, and interventions to achieve health and nutrition goals; what kinds of changes would maximize agriculture’s contribution to human health and nutrition; and how human health and nutrition could contribute to a productive and sustainable agricultural system.

The full book can be downloaded, in its entirety or by individual chapters, here. A short booklet containing the preview of the book can be found here.

Uganda’s Nutrition Plan takes a multi-sectoral approach

Launched in October of this year, the Uganda Nutrition Action Plan (UNAP) is an example of recent country-led initiative to strengthen national nutrition. Built upon the importance of multi-sectoralism, the Plan was prepared in cooperation with several ministries.

The opening ceremony featured 2020 Conference speaker Robert Mwadime! Check out the official press release for more information!

17 West African countries gather for CAADP workshop to explore how nutrition can be woven into the agricultural agenda

Two weeks ago, the New Partnership for Africa’s Development (NEPAD) in collaboration with several other partners organized the West Africa CAADP (Comprehensive African Agricultural Development Programme) Nutrition Program Development Workshop in Dakar, Senegal in recognition of the dire need to integrate nutrition in national agricultural development plans. The workshop was unique in that it brought together, for the first time, representatives of the Ministries of Health, Agriculture, Finance and Economic Planning, and Civil Society from the 17 countries in the region. Workshop participants worked in country teams to develop agricultural action plans that integrated nutrition interventions aimed at addressing the country-specific nutrition problems.

"The event clearly showed that integrating nutrition objectives in agricultural development plans is urgently needed, but that it is challenging to do so. People from different departments have different objectives and agendas and speak different languages. I did notice, however, that the workshop participants were very dedicated to the task," says Jef Leroy, an IFPRI research fellow who presented at the workshop as well as attended the 2020 Conference in New Delhi.

View the complete workshop program!

Follow-up activity summary: post-conference momentum continues to grow

The IFPRI 2020 Conference in New Delhi continues to build energy and raise awareness about the important linkages between agriculture, nutrition, and health! Here is a quick summary (PDF version) of some of the exciting activities that happened since the conference:

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Policy Action Note From the Malawi Conference Is Now Available!

Malawi Conference Participants

One month after the "Unleashing Agriculture's Potential for Improved Health and Nutrition in Malawi" conference, event organizers have released the Policy Action Note, which is the outcome of presentations and discussions on making linkages across sectors, building capacity, and investing in evidence-based and responsive research. The note aims to inform and motivate policymakers and planners across sectors to coordinate and integrate their activities to help Malawi’s agriculture become more responsive and contribute to the nutritional and health status of the population.

Journal publishes review of IFPRI seminar on non-communicable diseases

The December 2011 issue of Public Health Nutrition featured a review of the recent policy seminar on agriculture and non-communicable diseases. Written by two IFPRI colleagues Zhenya Karelina and Heidi Fritschel, the article concluded that "agriculture can be a powerful tool in the fight against non-communicable diseases, but using this tool effectively will require significant changes in the organization of the entire food system, from the farm to the table."

Joint event highlights recent work on agriculture and health nexus

The Chicago Council on Foreign Affairs and IFPRI co-sponsored the event Connecting the Dots: How Agriculture Can Contribute to Global Health on October 12 in conjunction with the World Food Prize Symposium in Des Moines, Iowa.

Panelists discussed recent work exploring the intersection of agriculture and health. Robert Paarlberg, professor of political science at Wellesley College, highlighted findings from The Chicago Council’s new report on how agriculture and food policy can help prevent chronic disease as well as from his IFPRI 2020 paper on governance and the dietary transition. Rajul Pandya-Lorch, Head of the 2020 Vision Initiative at IFPRI, discussed key outcomes that emerged from the 2020 Conference in New Delhi. Pamela Anderson, director general of the International Potato Center (CIP), concluded with a presentation on CIP’s Sweet Potato for Profit and Health Initiative and its impact on food security. All of the presentations reiterated the need for further exploration on how agriculture and health are connected.

Malawi conference marks successful step towards translating global findings to the country level

Malawian Minister of Agriculture Peter Mwanza addresses conference participants

During the Unleashing Agriculture's Potential for Improved Nutrition and Health in Malawi conference held earlier this week in Lilongwe, Malawi, policymakers, researchers, and other stakeholders engaged in energetic and vigorous discussion and mutual learning about how to make agricultural policies and programs more nutrition-and health-friendly in Malawi.

The inaugural session set the stage and featured several key government officials. Malawi's Minister of Agriculture, Irrigation and Water Development Peter Mwanza officially launched the conference and emphasized the need to rejuvenate existing links between the three sectors. He was introduced by Erica Maganga, the Secretary for Agriculture and Food Security at Ministry of Agriculture, Irrigation and Water Development.

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Nourishing the Planet blog discusses NCD policy seminar

Worldwatch Institute's Nourishing the Planet blog posted a review of last week's policy seminar on agriculture and non-communicable diseases. Check out the post to read what they had to say.

Policy seminar examines role of agriculture for UN meeting on noncommunicable diseases

Last Thursday, IFPRI hosted a policy seminar on “Leveraging Agriculture to Tackle Noncommunicable Diseases” that explored how to take advantage of the connections between agriculture and noncommunicable diseases (NCDs) and how food and agriculture research can become part of the dialogue at the high-level meeting of the United Nations General Assembly, to be held on September 19-20.

Chaired by Marie Ruel of IFPRI, the seminar featured a panel of multi-sectoral speakers. Professor Tim Lang, City University London, discussed major drivers and emerging trends with regard to the linkages between agriculture and these diseases. Rachel Nugent, Center for Global Development, talked about the recent rise of NCDs in international development and policy dialogue. She notably mentioned the 2020 Conference in Delhi as key example of this change. Derek Yach, PepsiCo, concluded with a discussion about the important role of the private sector in improving food and nutrition security.

Visit the IFPRI page to view speakers' presentations and PowerPoints.