Global Nutrition Symposium on Nurturing Development: Annually Bridging Development and Livestock
This video summarizes the presentations and themes of the first Global Nutrition Symposium, hosted by the Feed the Future Innovation Lab for Livestock Systems.
Well-nourished populations, especially women and children, are the central focus of efforts to nurture development and thereby sustainably reduce global hunger, malnutrition, and poverty. Founded in 2017, the annual Global Nutrition Symposium as one of two premier multi-stakeholder knowledge sharing platforms for participatory priority development, dialogue, and research to development linkages. Each year the event is held in a different country with a focus on increasing production and consumption of animal-source foods to improve nutrition, health, and incomes.
The symposium gathers ministers, policy-makers, researchers, public and private sector extension workers, producer organizations, and university administrators to discuss the global relevance of bridging research to extension and agriculture to nutrition linkages for improving human nutrition and livestock production.
Key observations that shaped the 2019 symposium include:
- Globally, malnutrition costs an estimated $3.5 trillion USD every year, and the impacts of malnutrition are life-long and irreversible. Animal-source foods (ASF) like eggs, milk and meat from various types of livestock in proper amounts can improve diets low in protein, essential amino acids, vitamins and minerals.
- Challenges to be addressed include making high-quality ASF accessible, affordable and available to vulnerable populations, addressing food safety issues in ASF, and fostering linkages between agriculture and nutrition.
- Research on increasing production and efforts to promote consumption of ASF are underway in Nepal and other emerging economies, but linkages with extension, human nutrition and across sectors are weak, thus limiting the current impact of investments in research.
- There are diverse examples of research and extension linkages to draw from and apply to specific country contexts. Through strategic, purposeful planning and dialogue, policy makers, researchers, and university administrators can generate new ideas to improve research and extension linkages in their home countries.
- For research and extension linkages to be effective, ensure that extension efforts are informed by research, well resourced, regularly monitored and evaluated, communicated appropriately and sustained for the long term. Research needs to be informed by farmers’ needs and planned with farmers or extension agents, where feasible. Also, incentivize extensionists’ efforts—especially university lecturers.
Recommended action points to shaping the future of nutritional development include:
- Encourage researchers, extensionists, farmers and other end users to develop strategic plans to break down barriers between research and extension.
- Estimate the potential economic value of better research to extension linkages.
- Promote the notion that food security is critical for national security.
- Act now on steps that can be taken immediately to improve research and extension linkages.
- Adapt the US land grant model of linking research to extension to your country.
- Properly resource extension efforts and reward extensionists for their work, particularly when done by university lecturers.
More details about the symposium, including links to presentations and posters, are available online here: livestocklab.ifas.ufl.edu/events/2019-global-nutrition-symposium/.
To stay engaged with the latest in development and livestock, please see our upcoming webinar: From Herds to Households: Unpacking the challenges and benefits around animal-source foods