Food, Agriculture and Natural Resources Policy Analysis Network (FANRPAN) Food, Agriculture and Natural Resources Policy Analysis Network (FANRPAN)

FANRPAN CEO Speaks at the 2nd International Conference on Global Food Security
Cornell University, Ithaca, New York, USA
11 October 2015 - 14 October 2015

FANRPAN CEO, Dr Lindiwe Majele Sibanda, attended the 2nd International Conference on Global Food Security where she was also a keynote speaker. The conference aim was to deliver state-of-the-art analysis, inspiring visions and innovative methods arising from research in a wide range of disciplines, in order to achieve global food security. This need arose from the rapidly expanding volume of scientific research that is being prompted by the need for a better understanding of the burden of malnutrition, undernutrition, obesity and micronutrient deficiencies. Achieving global food security whilst reconciling demands on the environment is the greatest challenge faced by mankind. By 2050 at least 9 billion people will need food, and increasing incomes and urbanization will inevitably lead to dietary change. The aim of this conference was therefore, to better understand behavioral, biophysical, economic, institutional, political, social and technological drivers of current and future global food security. The conference addressed the food system activities of processing, distributing and consuming food, as well as food production from crop, livestock, tree, freshwater and marine sources; the availability, access, utilization and stability dimensions of food security; and the synergies and trade-offs between economic, environmental, health and social objectives and outcomes.

Dr Sibanda gave a keynote address under the conference theme 'Policies to improve local and global food security'. Her address was entitled 'Can Agriculture and Food Security Policies Deliver More Yield, More Income and Better Nutrition for Smallholder Farm Families?' Her address was emphatic on the importance of the inclusion of nutrition in agriculture and food security policies. It mainly focused on the question of "what evidence is required for agriculture investments to achieve positive nutrition outcomes?". Her opening statement, "Nutrition is an orphan, whilst health and agriculture have a mother and father!" captured both the essence of her address and the attention and imagination of the audience. The entire presentation can be summarised in Dr Sibanda's words: "For agriculture to fulfill its potential for reducing poverty and hunger, food security policies must be informed by evidence emanating from nutrition-sensitive approaches. The policies must ensure that production and consumption of essential nutrients such as proteins, minerals and micronutrients increase, along with adequate intake of calories."

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