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Monday, September 5, 2016

African agro leaders mobilize to ‘Seize the Moment’ on malnutrition roundtable

As the 2016 African Green Revolution Forum in Nairobi, Kenya, gains momentum, the Global Panel on Agriculture and Food Systems for Nutrition (GPAFSN) in partnership with the Alliance for a Green Revolution in Africa (AGRA), has mobilized leaders in agriculture and health at a High-Level Roundtable meeting, reports NaijaAgroNet.

The meeting to be hosted at the United Nations (UN) complex, Tuesday, would witness discussion on how Africa’s agricultural community could achieve nutrition security through healthy diets.

NaijaAgroNet also reports that the networking reception would follow the roundtable, witnessing Global Panel launch of its technical brief: The Cost of Malnutrition in Nairobi.

The brief, NaijaAgroNet gathered would call on African leaders, and other actors, to invest without further ado in a more cost-effective nutrition initiatives.

The networking reception event and launch of the Cost of Malnutrition brief, NaijaAgroNet gathered would explore opportunities to enhance nutrition outcomes through agriculture.

Slated to hold at the Tribe Hotel, Market Road, Nairobi, Kenya, NaijaAgroNet reports the brief would include a 30 minutes brief on Cost of Malnutrition, while speakers would include Victor Ajieroh, Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation; Global Panel Representative of the President African Development Bank (AfDB) Dr. Akinwumi Adesina.

Whereas the Technical Advisor, Global Panel; Director, Jeff Waage, and London International Development Centre’s Emmy Simmons, Board Member, Partnership at the Cut Hunger and Poverty in Africa/Agree; Global Panel Member would form part of the discussant.

Experts noted that the case for immediate transformational action in Africa’s food systems for nutritional gains, is compelling. Stressing the ‘double burden’ of obesity and malnourishment is far-reaching and rising inexorably. A ‘business-as-usual’ approach to agriculture and the agri-industry, will not result in the required nutritional outcomes demanded by Africa now, or in the future, as populations, economies and the aspirations of nations continue to grow.

NaijaAgroNet recalls that malnutrition is a major issue across the world, noting that in Africa alone, approximately 58 million children under the age of five years old are stunted, around 14 million are wasted and a further 10 million are overweight.

Kenya, NaijaAgroNet reports, is leading the way in Africa and has set to meet four out of the five World Health Assembly maternal and child nutrition targets.

Experts pointed out that despite these plans, more needs to be done, even as they cited for example, that 26 per cent of Kenya’s children under five years old are stunted, 25 per cent of Kenyan women are anaemic, while rates of obesity and the associated non-communicable diseases are increasing rapidly.

Global Panel member and President of the Alliance for a Green Revolution in Africa, Dr. Agnes Kalibata, said that by acting now to combat malnutrition decisively and swiftly, significant progress could be made towards securing Africa’s future sustainable economic success, and to its enhanced social and environmental wellbeing.

“Investing in nutrition and agriculture is investing in Africa’s future. To me, the brain matter development for any human being is determined on how it is nurtured from a young age, so Nutrition must be the priority for all of us,” she said.
Remmy Nweke in Nairobi/ED, Ops

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