The Way Forward

Leveraging Agriculture for Improving Nutrition and Health: The Way Forward

The International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI) is facilitating a policy consultation process, the centerpiece of which was an international conference on “Leveraging Agriculture for Improving Nutrition and Health” held February 10–12, 2011, in New Delhi, India. This “Way Forward” statement is a synthesis of IFPRI’s preliminary conclusions based on the policy consultation process and is designed to stimulate international debate on the way forward. It does not imply any endorsement by the conference participants or the cosponsors. We welcome comments and feedback on this statement via the comment form below.

The Challenge

The linkages between agriculture, nutrition, and health seem obvious: adequate levels and qualities of food produced and consumed promote good nutrition and robust health. The reality, however, is that patterns of food production and consumption vary widely around the world and the positive linkages between agriculture, nutrition, and health are not realized. Despite the large role that agriculture has played in the past, a number of pressing problems in the areas of agriculture, nutrition, and health are evident. These problems include the following:

  • Nearly a billion people now go hungry every day, unable to access the food they need for energy and growth. Several billion suffer from deficiencies in micronutrients like iron, vitamin A, and zinc. Hunger and poor nutrition have severe and sometimes fatal consequences for people’s health, especially for women and children. These consequences can include significantly greater susceptibility to a range of infectious diseases. At the same time, problems related to “overnutrition” are burgeoning in many parts of the world. Obesity and chronic diseases like heart disease and diabetes are on the rise, even in settings where hunger is also common.
  • Agriculture is dominated by smallholders­—many of whom suffer from poverty, malnutrition, and poor health—and faces environmental challenges. In some regions, smallholder agriculture is not growing fast enough to keep up with rising demand for food and to provide farmers with adequate incomes. Intensification of agriculture is a must to feed an increased world population, yet agricultural intensification brings its own risks for people’s health, including zoonotic diseases, food- and water-borne diseases, occupational hazards, and environmental damage that puts people and the planet at risk. Women, who make up the majority of workers on smallholder farms, are particularly vulnerable, because they are also responsible for food and nutrition security and care for the family.
  • Stress on natural resources, especially water resources—exacerbated by climate change—and rising costs of inputs such as fertilizers and pesticides may cause farmers to adopt farming practices that are harmful to their own health and to the health of consumers and that are ultimately not sustainable.

Addressing these problems will require solutions to be developed at the intersection of the agriculture, health, and nutrition sectors. Much has been learned in recent years about how the three sectors are connected—with important implications for people’s well-being and overall economic development. Nonetheless, significant information and knowledge gaps remain. Many policymakers and practitioners in the agriculture, nutrition, and health sectors continue to work in isolation despite the potentially strong synergies among initiatives to improve nutrition and health through agriculture.

Faster progress must be made in the drive for adequate food, good nutrition, good health, and sustainable agricultural growth, but the three sectors must work together to minimize the negative links among them and maximize the positive synergies. The policy consultation process “Leveraging Agriculture for Improving Nutrition and Health” points the way to some first steps along this path, beginning with an effort to learn more about the links and the implications for policy and delivery on the ground.

Fill the Knowledge Gaps

  • Learn more about how different patterns of agricultural growth affect nutrition and health. To design the most effective policies, we still need to know more about how much and what type of agricultural growth is best for nutrition and health. For example, must agricultural growth pass a certain threshold to contribute to nutrition and health? Should investments focus on staple crops, high-value crops, or livestock? How can agricultural growth facilitate greater dietary diversity? What conditional factors—such as land distribution, education, women’s status, producer and consumer market structures, and rural infrastructure—do the most to leverage agricultural growth for nutrition and health? Do the links among agriculture, nutrition, and health operate differently in countries at different stages of development? What incentives need to be put in place to ensure that increased farmer income translates into better health and nutrition? We need to capture the lessons learned from small-scale projects and encourage better monitoring and evaluation so that the evidence base is stronger and can be used by others.
  • Invest in research, evaluation, and education systems capable of integrating information from all three sectors. Better-integrated research and evaluation tools and incentives will promote policymaking processes and learning that cross the agriculture, nutrition, and health sectors. For instance, it would be useful to mainstream the nutrition dimension in farming system research. Universities should encourage a more multidisciplinary approach to help break down the barriers and help students—the practitioners and leaders of the future—and faculty build knowledge and relationships across the sectors. Donors and governments need to invest in reducing critical gaps in human and institutional capacity while stepping up investments in projects and evaluations. Financial incentives to promote multidisciplinary research should take into account policy relevance in more than one sector. To have the greatest impact on policy, research results should be communicated across sectoral boundaries.
  • Fill the gap in governance knowledge at the global, national, and community levels. More remains to be learned about how to maximize the synergies among the three sectors using policies, investments, regulations, and other tools of governance. In addition, it is important to generate effective leadership to galvanize different sectors to work together effectively and to learn more about how to prioritize and sequence actions and investments to link the three sectors.

Do No Harm

  • Mitigate the health risks posed by agriculture along the value chain. Agricultural strategies should seek to control the agriculture-associated diseases and occupational hazards that are exacerbated by agricultural intensification. New agricultural developments should be subject to health impact assessment (HIA), which can identify health hazards and risks at the design and construction phases when cost-effective safeguards can be incorporated. Also needed are improved production and processing practices, such as better food safety practices and water management, as well as cost-effective risk-based technologies that are accessible to smallholder farmers. Advances in health-risk assessment and management promote incremental improvements through a multiple barrier approach. This provides a strong basis for public health officials to participate in disseminating information on health risks and solutions along the value chain.
  • Design health and nutrition interventions that contribute to the productivity of agricultural labor. Nutrition interventions such as home-based gardens can both improve nutrition and raise agricultural production. HIV/AIDS interventions can be designed to take account of losses of household labor and minimize disruptions to household production.
  • Look carefully at the downstream effects of subsidies for production or consumption on consumers’ nutrition and health. Although policymakers often use nutrition to justify agricultural subsidies, in some cases subsidies may result in patterns of agricultural production and distribution that ultimately hurt people’s nutrition and health. Across-the-board, untargeted consumer subsidies, for example, may help hungry people to acquire more food but, over time, may distort their consumption choices and crowd out public investments that would do more to boost nutrition and health.

Seek Out and Scale Up Innovative Solutions

  • Scale up successful interventions. Some interventions that address the goals of all three sectors have already been tried both at the project level and at the country level—for example, in China, Ghana, Malawi, and Thailand. It is important to better understand the most cost-effective ways for agriculture and health to deliver improved food security and nutritional outcomes. What works in a particular context and why? These efforts offer opportunities for adapting and scaling up successes and learning from failures.
  • Design agriculture, nutrition, and health programs with cross-sectoral benefits. Integrated programs can be designed to take advantage of synergies among the three sectors. For example, increased intercropping with nitrogen-fixing crops such as lentils could reduce agricultural inputs, restore soil fertility, and generate nutritional benefits for people. Gender-sensitive programs that consider the synergies and trade-offs between women’s roles in agricultural production and childcare can promote positive nutrition and health outcomes. Food-based approaches and horticultural remedies used to treat poor nutrition can also do a great deal to improve health. Price policies can be used to promote consumption of more nutritious foods. Biofortification of staple crops can significantly improve the nutrition and health status of vulnerable groups, particularly women and children. Civil society actors such as nongovernmental organizations can bring indigenous knowledge about agriculture, nutrition, or health to bear on projects in other sectors.
  • Incorporate nutrition into value chains for food products. Improved nutrition results not only from greater volumes of food production on farms, but also from the way food commodities are handled in the postfarm segments of value chains. Processing can enhance year-round availability of products with high nutrient value. Fortification during postharvest processing can improve nutrient content or availability. Transport and storage improvements can reduce postharvest losses and deterioration of the nutritional quality of foods. Efficiency in postfarm handling can reduce costs and retail prices, thus increasing access for poor consumers. For underutilized crops rich in nutrients, value chains can be created to promote their conservation, cultivation, marketing, and consumption.
  • Use all available levers for change. Science and technology levers, as well as economic, social, and governance levers, are important for maximizing agriculture’s contribution to nutrition and health. Science and technology levers could include innovations along the whole value chain. Plant and livestock breeding can increase both availability of and access to food. Food-processing technologies can reduce storage losses and increase nutrient value. Reducing transport costs can make food more affordable as well as accessible, especially for poor urban populations. Economic levers could include policies related to markets, trade, prices, and investment. Social levers could include education and activities to promote behavioral change. Governance levers could include incentives and institutional arrangements, as well as inclusion of marginalized and excluded groups—especially women, who are at the nexus of the agriculture, nutrition, and health sectors.
  • Increase consumers’ nutrition literacy and highlight the consequences of dietary choices. Consumer awareness campaigns, such as nutrition literacy programs in villages, can increase poor people’s knowledge of and demand for nutritious food. More consumption of nutritious foods can not only improve health, but also open new markets for agricultural producers. Projections show rising trends in consumption of livestock, dairy, and other foods that make intensive use of energy and cereals, with worrisome implications for global food security and the environment. Thus it will also be important to work with consumer, public health, and environmental groups to find ways of encouraging people to adopt sustainable patterns of food consumption.

Create an Environment in Which Cooperation Can Thrive

  • Focus on partnerships among agriculture, nutrition, and health. Professionals in agriculture, nutrition, and health speak different “languages,” and efforts will be needed to overcome this barrier. These efforts will have to start at the time of professional training, through, for example, interdisciplinary problem-based learning approaches. National governments, farmers, healthcare workers, nutritionists, environmental groups, civil society organizations, educators, researchers, and the private sector all have important roles to play in leveraging agriculture for improved nutrition and health and should work together to achieve common goals. Special efforts should be made to ensure that the nutrition sector, which is often given short shrift, is an equal partner. Global and regional institutions that play important roles in the governance of the agriculture, nutrition, and health sectors may need to be reformed for greater effectiveness and integration of efforts.
  • Develop mutual accountability mechanisms among the three sectors. It is important to promote openness and transparency and to develop clear guidelines for stakeholder responsibilities and resource allocation in agriculture, nutrition, and health. Leaders in the three sectors can create incentives that will make it easier for people in those sectors to work together.
  • Correct market failures. Markets alone cannot achieve socially optimal agriculture, nutrition, and health outcomes. It is increasingly clear that agricultural and other policies have a range of benefits and costs for health, nutrition, and the environment that market prices do not reflect, especially given people’s lack of information and knowledge. We need to do a better job of taking into account the true value—positive and negative—of nutritious foods, health services, and environmentally beneficial agricultural practices. Policymakers should use public policies—such as investments, subsidies, education, trade, and tax policies—to help correct these market failures and promote policy coherence at all levels.
  • Use communication and advocacy to bring about change. Although there is wide interest in reducing undernutrition, converting good will into action can be difficult. Communication and advocacy can play an important role in increasing the visibility of nutrition issues, generating interest among agriculture and health professionals, stimulating action at all levels—global, regional, national, and local—and highlighting the important and interlinked roles played by all three sectors.

Recent food crises and protracted food inflation in many parts of the world have attracted renewed attention to agriculture. This is a useful moment to ask whether new ways of thinking and taking action can make agriculture more effective in promoting a more prosperous, healthy, and well-nourished world, while being mindful of its impact on the environment. This moment thus represents a window of opportunity for finding new solutions to longstanding problems of poor nutrition and health—solutions that could go a long way toward helping achieve all of the Millennium Development Goals and even surpassing them.

It is important to remember that agricultural growth alone will not eradicate undernutrition and ill health—specific interventions such as nutrition programs targeted at children under age two and improved healthcare services for underserved populations are still needed. Moreover, these kinds of safety net programs, as well as education and health services, infrastructure, trade policies, and other factors, make up the larger context within which advances in agriculture, nutrition, and health will take place. Changes in these factors will also make a difference to how well the linkages among agriculture, nutrition, and health operate.

In the coming decades, we are likely to face a more volatile world. Climate change, shifting diets, rising population, threats of water scarcity, and other factors will make leveraging agriculture for nutrition and health ever more challenging. We should anticipate these events and view them as opportunities to promote the structural changes needed to achieve a new balance, with more attention given to sustainable agriculture, improved health status, and better nutrition for all age groups.

18 Responses to “The Way Forward”

  • Hello,

    Under "innovative solutions", I suggest the following additional paragraph:

    Include non-mainstream crops and species to widen the food basket and complement nutritionally unbalanced diets with their over-reliance on staples and refined carbohydrates. As a viable alternative to the fortification of staple foods, traditional or heritage crops and species should be promoted. Their localized nature and usage belies their importance to millions of the world’s poor in meeting their needs, inter alia, in food and nutrition. Broad-based advocacy for such crops and species is required to achieve adequate attention by policy makers, scientific research, donors, and development workers.

  • Seema Gupta:

    Leveraging agriculture alone would not improve nutrition and health. For that, a couple of changes need to be brought in as: (1) Promoting organic methods of cultivation to reduce associated health hazards in case of usage of chemical fertilizers and pesticides.(2) attitudinal changes among the people with respect to food practices(quantity and quaity) and also reducing household disparity in food distribution among different members of a family, particularly children, girls and women. (3) awareness generation among the people regarding the three sectors using different media, particularly radio and television, street plays etc. (4) There should be some sort of platform to bring together government, civil society and CBO representatives to encourage common understanding and infuence policies and practice changes. (5) Nutrition and health education should be a focus area from school itself so that the future generation is orientaed in the right direction(6) There should be some standard tool to track the ntritional intake among different members of the family and community(7) PRI members must be oriented for encouraging kitchen gardens in every village of their Panchayat.

  • Dr. Ferdousi Begum:

    Dear All, Hope it will be an excellent workshop which will help to address nutrition in a more holistic way, however it would be nice if you also consider following issues along with agriculture:

    - Poultry and Livestock including fishery component which can ensure self-employment of poor firmer during lien season also ensure supply of enough protein supply. Hope the agriculture you mentioned will cover poultry and livestock during your discussion.
    - Disaster management especially for the developing countries whose are very vulnerable to natural disaster would be other key area along with Agriculture need to address separately to ensure proper nutrition and health along with all the messages give here.
    - Separate global strategy for landless hard core groups in all aspect of agriculture- production, value chain, marketing and creating adequate option of food aide by the government etc. -how your topic will address their requirement to meet nutrition and health.
    - Special intervention to increase awareness on nutrition for the poor women at workplace who usually don’t have access to regular mass media campaign.
    - Last but not the least is the involvement of rapidly growth global private sector involvement specially for establishment of country specific food for treating ready to therapeutic food to treat the already malnourish cases as part of their corporate social responsibility.

    Hope you will find these are helpful for the workshop.

    Best regards,

    Ferdousi

  • Robert Bos:

    Under Fill the knowledge gaps, learn more about how different patterns of agricultural growth affect nutrition and health I would like to add the question:
    Can we develop eco-system based scenarios for agricultural production systems and their human health dimensions in terms of risks and opportunities, so governments can apply optimal standard solutions?

    And, under invest in research, evaluation and education systems capacble of integrating information from all three sectors I would add the qualitfyer:

    Problem-based learning approaches will encourage the development of inter-disciplinary thinking and dialogue around issues.

    And, under fill the gap in governance knowledge at the global, national and community levels at the end add:

    Sectoral boundaries do not exist at the community level, and this advocates for a focus on the concept of subsidiarity, where decision-making takes place at the lowest possible level and higher-level decision making is subsidiary to needs expressed at the community level.

    Further down under Seek out and Scale up Innovative solutions, design agriculture, nutrition and health programs with cross-sectoral benefits:

    Problems of urban wastewater and the health risks it poses when used in peri-urban agriculture can be turned into benefits through safe water management practices, adapted cropping patterns, safe agricultural practices and safe food handling and preparation.

    And, under Develop mutual accountability mechanisms among the three sectors, add at the end of the paragraph "Perverse" policies need to be identified and abolished.

  • Vaidehi Krishnan:

    Dear IFPRI Team,

    I would like to reiterate what Ms Seema Gupta had written regarding 'health education'. Government and other stakeholders should give prime importance and encourage 'health education' at school stage itself through training, awareness programs, trainings, etc. and the funds and other resources should be organized to carry out these. 'Action-oriented' research projects should be conducted with ample scope for family and community participation as well. Interesting, experiential learning methods should be involved for better retention of concepts and best practices. These would help translate knowledge into skills and actions related to culinary practices, hygiene, food choices and adopt responsible behaviours related to food processing and intakes for sustained development.

    It is a pity some of the Indian TV mega serials even to this day have scenes of male members being offered milk on a routine basis while no female member is seen drinking or being offered milk! I feel this is a great 'negative' influencer and a matter of concern too. Media could on the other hand use these very serials which have a high TRP to remove such a gender bias ! -- Vaidehi Krishnan

  • As a former PEEM member and advocate of intersectoral action, I would endorse the deliberations of the conference group and would point out that there are likely to be a diversity of methodologies that may succeed according to culture and social status. One of the key issues is formulating a plan to foster multisectoral engagement at government level. Whereas Ministries for Agriculture and Health are clearly established in most governments, where does nutrition lie and what weight is it given? The Ministry of Agriculture produces food and the Ministry of Health deals with infectious and chronic diseases. Nutrition and obesity is a large concern in developed country agendas but I would have thought that it ranked low on the developing country priority list. Although we have the resources to promote a social and technological agenda, does the IFPRI draft above have a polical agenda to drive intersectoral change? We need Ministries to think outside of their silos.

  • K S Murali:

    Agriculture was once a holistic system wherein all the crops are grown to meet the food and nutrition requirements of the family. There was a never disconnect between food, nutrition and health as they are interlocked as part of ecosystem life. Due burgeoning population and effort to feed population, specialization/monoculture of crops evolved and integrated agriculture diminished. Now, with increasing impact of specialization of agriculture on environment and impending impacts of climate change on agriculture, there are efforts to bring the ecosystem agriculture back. The notion of ecosystem agriculture lies in its resource use intensity and the capacity of a given land system to cultivate and diverse crops that meet the nutrition requirements of the family as per the environment they live and the appropriate to seasons.
    No doubt agriculture production does not eradicate hunger, as evidenced in India with over 230 million people undernourished. Concerted efforts to bring in food security at the household level aiming at kitchen garden, homestead garden and diversified livelihood patterns. Within a household there should be poultry, dairying, fishing and cultivation various crops. Many primitive tribes have demonstrated this practice successfully without much compromise on their income, health and nutrition. Efforts must be made to study such patterns and how those could be adopted in the other areas who suffer from decent health, chronic malnutrition and hunger. A discussion on this topic may be needed.

  • I am delighted to see this initiative and have the following responses for consideration.

    I was pleased to see the reference to HIA in the draft document although I think this is being viewed as a project level instrument while it is also a strategic and policy level instrument. You may know for example that there is a UK HIA initiative called Global Health Impact Assessment project: “ in line with the principle set out in the cross-Government strategy, Health is Global, to take greater account of the global health impact and equity of UK foreign and domestic policies.
    It should assist UK policy makers to develop policies which promote or protect health globally, particularly in relation to:
    • the determinants of health, such as access to clean water, sanitation and education
    • people’s ability to improve their own health, such as their income levels and food security
    • the factors that affect access to healthcare, such health system payment mechanisms and cost of medicines”

    At the policy level, I am also reminded of the perverse incentives issue that has been analysed in the EC common agricultural policy. For example, large subsidies for promoting dairy fat production to farmers while at the same time spending small sums on a public health campaign to reduce dairy fat consumption. Another example is helping farmers grow tobacco.

    I would add to the list of challenges that of resource depletion such as oil scarcity, often called Peak Oil, which is leading to the diversion of food crops into bio-ethanol and the conversion of rain forest into palm oil plantations. There is the associated challenge of localisation as agricultural produce is currently being transported huge distances Analysis in London indicates that for us food is one of our major sources of green house gas production. The links between peak oil and climate change are complex, with each tending to reinforce the other. Overall, it has been suggested that these tend to amplify existing health inequalities. A new system of agriculture appears to be needed that is far less dependent on fossil fuels at all stages of the process.

    Should there be mention of the large-scale diversion of agricultural produce into animal production?
    GM is not mentioned, too contentious perhaps?
    Supply chain initiatives like fairtrade certification seem to have great potential to support producers.

  • Andy:

    The discussion have been biased towards production and also targeted at developing country policy makers. However, learning from past experience particularly from the green revolution, the real impediments to food production and access to food and health are the policy considerations in rich countries. So without addressing the impartial policies such as subsidies to farmers in developed countries, there will not be any way forward with increased production and access to food or even health in developing countries.

  • Do no harm (and use the opportunities for health gains) (page 2)
    It is positive to see Health Impact Assessment (HIA) is emphasized as a means to safeguard human health through proper identification of hazards and risks and subsequent actions for mitigation. However, HIA is not only about minimizing risks and derived health outcomes. It is also important to highlight that HIA may be used as a participatory, health promotional tool where health promoters may be identified within the agricultural, nutrition, water and health nexus and associated health opportunities optimized. Furthermore, it would be worthwhile to highlight the intersectoral nature of HIA as an important instrument for sharing the responsibility for mitigation actions between relevant sectors such as agriculture, water, environment and health. This may eventually lessen the burden on an already over-stretched health sector.

  • Prakash H.R.:

    Food and nutrition are two sides of the coin that contributes to our health. The farmers plays a critical part by producing the food for not only his family but also others in the Society. In India the country's food security relies on the vast majority of its workers engaged in farming on small land holdings and in difficult rain-fed conditions. However, the farming sector that is critical to the food-security of the country and health of the nation is a neglected that is causing distress to point of farmers opting for suicide and their siblings .driven for seeking other means of livelihood.
    The international conference intended to deliberate on “Leveraging Agriculture for Improving Nutrition and Health” on February 10–12, 2011, in New Delhi, India hopefully contribute to examine thread-bare the implications of the issues confronting the farming sector to food and nutrition and ways and means to redress them.

    The discussion and policies need to be farmer centric as he bears the brunt of the vagaries associated with food production and diverse nature of food that needs to be produced to sustain the health and nutrition of the humanity in conditions that are aggravated by an unmindful society neglecting the concerns of the farming community,
    Hope to read the outcome of the conference in these column not about the amount papers it churns out but actions and commitment in supported of the small farmer tilling the land and producing our food.

  • David Bradley:

    The document is relatively comprehensive and makes many very important recommendations, but some parts are very general. Perhaps this is appropriate and indeed necessary at this stage, but it would gain impact if some sections had specifics as well as the general encouragement to fill gaps.

    In relation to the second bullet of Seek out and scale up:- Agriculture, nutrition , disease and health services often have strongly seasonal annual cycles and there is scope for reducing adverse synchrony of these cycles for poor populations by modifying timing of disease control and health services.

    While the role of water security for agriculture receives little mention, and this could be because it is ‘upstream’ of agriculture, there is also little about waste water reuse in agriculture which can benefit health, agriculture and nutrition. Water management for agriculture can be improved, with extra benefits for health. There is room for more recycling in sanitation, for agriculture.

    Third bullet of Create an environment could helpfully state that we need economic analysis to be much more comprehensive in scope if it is to provide an evidence basis for policy.

    The second bullet point of the Challenge section on page 1 does not mention employment although this is a major issue linking the three main topics and can both be affected and have complex effects during modernization programmes. Little is said about making nutritional data drive plant-breeding programmes.

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  • Placid Njoku:

    To the IFPRI Team,
    On the Way Forward, I agree that basically, there is consensus that the linkages among agriculture, nutrition and health are “obvious”. In accepting this, we basically accept that the quality of processes in agricultural activities has profound effect on the quality of nutrition and the quality of health. Over time, the FAO, particularly through the OIE, has inadvertently given the impression that the most important factor in the relationships in the Agriculture-Nutrition-Health continuum is the health component. In re-thinking the gaps and synergies that are essential to produce the required integrations in the relationships, I want to re-iterate the age-old maxim that good agricultural processes lead to the production of good quality food which advances the qualities of nutrition and health. Consequently, there is a need to give due recognition to the basic contributions of all professional groups in leveraging good agriculture for good nutrition and improved health. For example, failures in Livestock production activities have been implicated in the occurrence of livestock diseases which have zoonotic potentials. However, in dealing with recent outbreaks – Mad Cow Disease, Avian Flu, African Swine Fever – the international response has almost exclusively been to deal with the problems from the health or veterinary perspectives. Consequent on this, these problems have almost become endemic in many countries.
    This contribution considers it necessary to emphasize the seemingly obvious fact that there is need to give due recognition and import to the critically essential roles that all relevant professional groups can play in and dealing with failures in Agricultural processes to ensure appropriate synergies to prevent such failures and to deal with any occurrence. For Livestock systems, good basic Animal Husbandry practices provided by the Animal Scientist and the livestock technician will produce good quality food animals and products, in the respective production and processing systems, devoid of the failures which lead to potential poisoning and zoonotic diseases. Therefore, the contributions of these professional groups in the value chain must be recognized and involved as opposed to the exclusive reliance on veterinarians by the OIE in the control and containment of failures and problems. The same is evidently true for Crop Agriculture systems where the soil scientist and the agronomist are as important as crop protection experts in dealing with issues, for example, of food safety in crop production or storage. The continued exclusion of such essential professional groups leaves gaps in practice and denies the Agriculture-Nutrition-Health continuum of the required synergies in capacities for preventing such failures and the contingent efforts in dealing with the failures. The Way Forward must rectify this!

  • Dear All

    Food policy interventions by IFPRI have really workd a lot to raise food production bars in various part of the worl in the previous years. But food and nutrient security is still a hot issue and will be in the future as well. I will strongly request all countries including Pakistan, to use the expertise of IFPRI to device their short term and long term food production, distribution and exchange policies for better food avaialbility for the human being and other live souls on the earth. Wishes