20 February 2011 - IFPRI

2020 conf - Side event - CGIAR Research Program 4 (1) - Feb 10, 2011

and we have a fantastic panel here so I

want to give them as much chance as we have to to interact and to share their information with you so I think we're going to sort of get started a couple of minutes early the person and now on the boards of both the International Livestock Research Institute and the International Institute for tropical agriculture so I have a very strong interest in the new evolution of the system known as the cgiar the consultative group on international AG research and the new partnership among the centers that are supported by the CGI are called the consortium of international AG research centers I thought we would have a little bit more carryover from the prior session but I see looking at the audience that in fact we have a lot of new faces so I am NOT going to repeat a number of the points that were made in the previous session just to link them with is this session but let me make a couple of points in the previous session we were talking about grain legumes which is one of the areas of focus of the cgiar consortium and specifically the focus of a program called the cgiar research program CRP 3.3 and the speakers from across at

seeit and a carta we're talking about the potential impact of grain legumes on nutrition and health one of the programs also mentioned how they are participating in a system wide effort called harvest plus which has been going for several years which has been looking at the biofortification of various grain legumes and other commodities and that biofortification effort and harvest plus goal is to increase the nutrient quality particularly the micro nutrient quality of particular crops including beans phaseolus vulgaris on this panel we are going to move to another cgiar research program that is in the process of being formed and a first draft of the design for this activity has been widely circulated critiqued and is now at the cusp of moving on to a new tighter more focused draft and it's called CRP for and those of you who have this flyer which i believe is available outside no it's called agriculture for improved nutrition and health and the purpose the objective of this program which will be elaborated on further by our panelists is really to raise the game substantially above the level that was

launched with harvest plus it will incorporate harvest plus and the biofortification initiative but it will go well beyond so we're really really fortunate to have two key members of the architecture team here with us today Marie were well from if pre and John McDermott from ilary and they will explain I think in a fairly straightforward and succinctness new integrated agriculture for nutrition and health research program is proposed to look like and then we will have three commentators who reviewed it talked about it had critiqued it in some cases to give some of their comments on it hopefully we'll still have enough time to open it to the audience and get your views and get your input but these guys will all be here for the next couple of days so there will be more opportunities and we will have to stop the session at four o'clock so with that let me just introduce Marie well down at the other end who will make the sort of first presentation and then turn it over to her colleague John McDermott we are planning to be fast and just give you a very brief overview of the program I see a lot of people who have actually

participated in the design of this program so I don't need to do so much explanation I guess so the point that I want to raise hear about the new CGI our vision is that the cgiar now has in its vision statement to improve human health and nutrition the CGR I are always has had the objective of reducing poverty and hunger but we now are putting specifically an objective of improving human health and nutrition so that we are accountable for it in that context this program that I will describe briefly fits strategically very nicely because its main purpose is to do exactly that is to bring agriculture nutrition helped together and is recognizing the fact that agriculture has a very important impact on nutrition as well as on health but also there is a link that also goes through from nutrition and help to agriculture so if you improve agriculture if you have good agriculture you have improved health and nutrition but you also have much better agricultural productivity if you have better nutrition and health so the links are both ways but this program focuses mostly on focusing on agriculture to

improve nutrition and health recognizing that there are also benefits in terms of improving at health and nutrition for agriculture so we focus on maximizing the benefits of Agriculture on nutrition we all know that there are several pathways by which agriculture can impact nutrition there was a session this morning looking at the disconnect between agriculture and nutrition but we have also heard about the different pathways by which agriculture can improve nutrition through livelihoods incomes employment food security both in terms of quantity and quality and also through gender equity the program on the other hand also focuses on reducing the risks of agriculture agriculture has many benefits both for health and nutrition but it also increases the risk types of diseases foodborne diseases water-related diseases zoonotic diseases and problems of Occupational Health just to mention also our target populations here we have the vulnerable and marginal populations those are largely left behind the poorest of the poor and we also have the population that is exposed to intensification of Agriculture but these two types of populations are

exposed to different types of risks and have different types of needs I will not dwell on this this is just to say why are we doing this we are doing this because up to now agriculture hasn't really delivered as much as it could have in terms of improving nutrition and help we still have a close to a billion people that are suffering from food insecurity that is measured in terms of quantity of food but is also an even larger number that suffer from poor diet quality we have severe problems of maternal and child nutrition in certain regions of the world and this is associated with more than one third of all child deaths ten percent of the burden of diseases so nautic diseases are an increasing threat and we have also an assessment of agriculture related help losses of about twenty-five percent of all Daly's and ten percent debts so we do have a huge burden of diseases that that is associated with agriculture and a problem of undernutrition and food insecurity that is not resolved so how is this program planning to tackle this basically we want to bring together agriculture and nutrition sectors together and they are

at the center of the universe as you can see here and to maximize the nutritional benefits and minimize the health risks so we have five components in the program the first one is what we refer to as nutrition sensitive value chain I will in a minute what it is the second one is biofortification as mu is mentioning this is an important part of the program because it does focus on improving the access to high nutrient rich foods staple foods that are rich in micronutrients to improve nutrition and health we have a program specifically focusing a component specifically focusing on agriculture associated diseases and then we have a program or a component of the program which brings it all together at the level of the community this is a program that focuses on integrated programs that focus on nutrition health and agriculture at the same time and that aim at maximizing the synergies between pressing all those different buttons at the same time and then we have the policy level where we also bring the three sectors together we really don't have time to explain much what these different components are but

I will explain a couple and John will follow with with the last few the nutrition sensitive value chain is a relatively new concept which is why I wanted to explain a little bit what we mean by that so you have on the right side a typical value chain or supply chain where value is added as you go through as you take the product through the different levels of the chain from from inputs to food production to all the way to consumption so the concept is used usually to add economic value so that the actors along the chain also benefits so we focus usually on adding value for the producers and other actors along the chain what we're trying to do here is to also add some nutrition objectives so we want to increase the demand for and the access to nutrient-rich foods for the poor so we want to include some nutrient nutrition concerns and goals into the value chain for products that are naturally rich in micronutrients for example so in order to do that we look at the different components or the different points along the chain we looked at leverage points where we can inject nutrition and on the left side you have

some of the types of things that we can do to increase the nutrient value or prevent the losses in nutrients that can occur along the chain so this is the concept and we really hope that with that we will not only increase the availability of nutrient-rich foods but we will also create greater demand and improve the access for for the poor biofortification you probably all know very well what this implies i just wanted to show what is the impact pathway here so for bio fortigate fortification we're talking about breeding crops that are rich in micronutrients and so the impact pathway is here from discovery to development to delivery so from discovery you identify the specific crops that you want to work on or you identify the crops that are rich in micronutrients and then you you adapt them you test them this is the development phase you test them in humans and then you you ensure the delivery and the scaling up of the the crops and and then with an achievement of improved nutritional status I'll leave it at that this for John to continue with the other yes Thank You Murray and good afternoon everyone the

third component is around the control of agriculturally associated diseases and what we're talking about there is really looking at food safety water associated diseases zoonotic diseases and to a limited extent occupational health now the kind of philosophy behind this is to take a more systemic view of of this risk across agroecosystems and across value chains and it's really kind of a risk-based approach rather than a the classic kind of how identification approach for diseases so it's really trying to mitigate risks because we're talking about a lot of poor communities who are not always I mean it's it's a trade-off between you know are they able to sell their products at all what are they eating and and how do we reduce the risks and make progress moving forward and obviously there's going to be key elements of knowledge attitudes and practices and changing behaviors and things like that now as Murray mentioned one of the interesting things is how do we get these things working in districts in communities on the ground and that's usually not a job of researchers that's a job of development partners whether

it's government whether it's nongovernmental organizations or civil society but research can play a supporting role in this so what kind of a role are we wishing to play in support of development well we think that research complaint important role in the kind of program design and specific inputs that can assist in implementation and we see those coming in different ways some is around methods and tools for kind of evaluation and assessing what's working and what's not some is around kind of looking at better program models a lot of these things require kind of integrated approaches where you would say improve water and sanitation in different ways with probably some specific kind of engineering things agronomic practices etc and the other end I guess we've heard in various sessions already today and we'll hear about throughout the week is that there's often weak evidence in terms of what decisions to be made and when we make the initial wrong decisions how do we correct them and improve them as we go forward we feel that then working closely with these development partners there will be a lot of co-learning and

there'll be a lot of that improvement in terms of how these programs happen and there also needs to be obviously a lot of learning of how these go to scale and obviously some things will be local solutions and other things will be scalable solutions and obviously at the end of the day we want agriculture to pay play a much bigger role in improving nutrition and health now another part of this is what how can research support the kind of enablers of improved nutrition and health through agriculture and part of that is to bring together knowledge approaches looking at the evidence and how it gets compiled and a significant amount of this is that often how agriculture interacts with nutrition and health falls between the cracks now because of this cross-sectoral problem that we don't really pull things together and so there's a lot to be learned about how to bring information and knowledge together between the different sectors and this relates off into the multiple burdens in terms of nutrition and health and how we calculate those but also the potential multiple benefits of making an

agricultural intervention or some other kind of intervention to guide us on what's the best way forward now obviously in this rich area of agriculture nutrition and health gender is going to be a absolute focal point for making this happen and the ways in which women are incorporated in which programs are targeted are going to make a big difference to the benefits that are received in terms of capacity strengthening there's capacity that needs to be strengthened all the way through this is not an area where there's a lot of expertise now especially in the cross-sectoral areas and we're going to have to learn as we go forward clearly in such an area there's got to be a lot of changes in terms of behavior in terms of perceptions etc and so communication and advocacy are going to be critical now this is where agriculture is just one piece of the puzzle and we have to have strong partnerships with health on the one hand and with nutrition on the other hand and these are communities that traditionally don't work together that well but we also as you've seen before we need the connections between

development and research and between communities and national governments etc so there's a critical role and in the proposal we've laid out a lot of the logic of doing that focusing on what do development implementers need to do to help improve their performance for better health and nutrition outcomes and what to the enablers of overall development efforts need to do to make better policies make better investments to provide a supportive environment for people to do this better ok so what value will this CRP N and this is our proposition and then you're going to hear from some of our colleagues of who are not who are not in the CGI are of what value they think it might add first of all I think this taking a systemic view of agriculture health and nutrition and how they interact is critical both from local from local all the way up to global and back we're hoping to address gaps in our knowledge of some of these relationships now I think when you critically evaluate this you'll see that it's absolutely full of holes and there'll be tons of gaps but this will be an important one and at least start with the highest priority gaps I think

this is one where key evidence is needed to make decisions and this is going to be critical both for making initial decisions in prioritization but also adjusting and adapting as we go along because there's many complex problems here that we're dealing with and another thing is to really foster the effective approaches and partnerships it's needed to do this cross-sectoral work the proposal as it's been submitted is available on this website and any other documentation associated with the development of this proposal is there we just received comments which will be going on the website and you'll see how we're responding to those so this is the kind of place if you want to make comments to us if you want to see what we're doing it's all right here thank you very much

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