International symposium to focus on zinc for better crop production and human health

Micronutrient deficiencies were very much in the spotlight at IFPRI’s 2020 conference, which focused on how agriculture can improve human nutrition and health.

This October, experts will gather at The 3rd International Zinc Symposium to discuss the global importance of zinc deficiency, a serious threat to both crop production and human populations. The symposium will provide the latest information on zinc deficiency in soils, address crop nutrition and human populations, review the best agricultural practices in addressing zinc deficiency, and discuss impact of zinc deficiency on global crop production and human health.

The symposium will be held in Hyderabad, India from 10 to 14 October 2011. Scientists wishing to make oral or poster presentations at the Zinc Symposium are invited to submit an abstract. The deadline for submission is April 30. Detailed information on the symposium, including registration, is available on the regularly updated symposium website.

The event is sponsored by the International Zinc Association and International Fertilizer Industry Association in cooperation with Fertilizer Association of India and HarvestPlus.

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Inaugural session panel outlines challenges, charts way forward

Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, at Inaugural Session

“We are standing face to face with some serious challenges: hunger, malnutrition, and poor health are denying billions of people the opportunity for a healthy, well-nourished, and productive life. Agriculture, which played a key role in feeding billions of poor in the world in the past, faces more volatile growing conditions due to changing climate and scarcer resources because of urbanization and population growth.”

So began tonight’s opening remarks by Shenggen Fan, Director General of IFPRI. Dr. Fan went on to conclude that “all of our efforts—whether in agriculture, nutrition, or health—are inextricably linked. We are more likely to succeed in addressing the challenges if we understand these links and put them to work for people’s benefit.”

Dr. Fan was followed by H.E. Manmohan Singh, Prime Minister of India. According to Dr. Singh, the conference’s central theme of “Leveraging Agriculture for Improving Nutrition and Health” is of particular importance to India and many developing countries where the majority of the population depends on agriculture as its primary source of income. Dr. Singh pointed out that several studies in India have underscored a correlation between the agricultural productivity of a particular state and the nutritional status of its people, but warned that “malnutrition is a complex process in which habits regarding feeding the new born babies, maternal and child health, and also water quality are at least equally important.”
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