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Showing posts with label policy. Show all posts
Showing posts with label policy. Show all posts

Wednesday, November 15, 2017

UN agencies, policy makers, private sector pool efforts

The United Nations agencies, policy makers, private sector are pooling efforts  to boost sustainability of food security and nutrition, reports NaijaAgroNet.

This was contained in the latest report's findings, released in Bangkok at the Asia-Pacific Symposium on Sustainable Food Systems for Healthy Diets and Improved Nutrition, recently.

The symposium has drawn some 250 parliamentarians, policy-makers, academicians, researchers, students, civil society, the private sector and development partners from countries across the region and beyond.

Experts will discuss policies and programmes that can enable better production, processing and distribution of food, as well as more effective ways to promote better nutrition and healthier diets. The symposium is convened by FAO in collaboration with the World Food Programme (WFP), World Health Organization (WHO), UNICEF and the World Bank.

The symposium was opened by FAO's Special Goodwill Ambassador for Zero Hunger in the region, Her Royal Highness Princess Maha Chakri Sirindhorn of Thailand, who called upon the participants to work together to find solutions. "The world has committed to zero hunger and improving nutrition as a key outcome of the 2030 Sustainable Development Goals. We must look at improving our current systems of production and patterns of consumption, and set a course of action."


The FAO report also highlighted a call for more innovations to stem food loss and food waste, in a cost-effective manner, which could also play an important part in improving overall food systems.

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Thursday, October 19, 2017

Urban diets and nutrition: Trends, challenges, and opportunities for policy action

NaijaAgroNet:

The Global Panel on Agriculture and Food Systems for Nutrition has launched a new brief: Urban diets and nutrition: trends, challenges, and opportunities for policy action, reports NaijaAgroNet.
Just as the President of the African Development Bank Dr. Akinwumi Adesina has received the World Food Prize 2017.
The brief looks at the challenge of providing healthy diets in urban environments in low and middle-income countries, presenting eight recommendations directed primarily at policymakers especially those working at the sub-national level.
Attended by Global Panel Members Akinwumi Adesina, President, African Development Bank and 2017 World Food Prize laureate; Agnes Kalibata, President, Alliance for a Green Revolution in Africa; Tom Arnold, Former Director General, Institute of International and European Affairs; and Emmy Simmons, Senior Adviser, Non-resident, to the Center for Strategic and International Studies Global Food Security Project; former Assistant Administrator, US Agency for International Development.

66 per cent of the world’s population is projected to be urban by 2050. The additional 2.5 billion urban residents will live primarily in Africa and Asia. This is leading to a growing crisis of urban malnutrition.

“There is an urgent need for better urban governance around food, nutrition and health”, said Adesina. “Urban populations need improved information on how to live well by eating well.”

The brief gives particular focus to the growing threat of diet-related non-communicable disease. The greater wealth in urban centres, relative to rural areas, does not necessarily lead to healthier diets, with excessive consumption of highly-processed foods that are high in calories but low in nutrients. Emmy Simmons argues that “within complex, diverse urban environments, poor dietary choices could create a further financial burden, with rising levels of overweight or obesity generating increases in the health care costs associated with non-communicable diseases”.

The eight recommendations in the brief call for a wider policy approach which integrates actions from food, agriculture and nutrition into urban planning, education, health, sanitation, water and infrastructure development. It will also require a shift in attitudes towards the informal food sector and the collection of better data on urban diets.

The brief shows how policymakers at the local level need to champion better diets and nutrition, but this requires them to be both mandated and empowered to act. Panel Member Tom Arnold argues that these “public policymakers need to recognise that productivity, quality of life and life expectancy in urban areas will revolve around healthy diets and lifestyles.”

Without decisive action, the Global Panel argues that this urban malnutrition crisis will deepen. This is especially important in many low and middle-income countries where urban dwellers do not consume enough basic calories, lack sufficient micronutrients, or suffer from being overweight or obese with associated diet-related non-communicable diseases, leading to a ‘triple burden of urban malnutrition’. As Dr. Kalibata recently stated, “The growing threat of an urban food crisis can no longer be ignored”.
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Tuesday, June 27, 2017

Abuja hosts fifth policy dialogue on SDGs

The fifth High Level Policy Dialogue on development planning begins in Abuja tomorrow with the theme ‘Mainstreaming the Sustainable Development Goals into National Development Plans’ reports NaijaAgroNet.

This three-day meeting, NaijaAgroNet reports, follows the endorsement of Agenda 2030 for Sustainable Development by African countries who are trying to domesticate the process, thus offering them an opportunity to align national visions and development strategies to the global SDGs.

The dialogue, NaijaAgroNet gathered gives participants an opportunity to discuss key issues for Africa’s transformation, sustainable development priorities and aspirations, in the light of the continent’s commitments to the SDGs as they continue to mainstream and domesticate the SDGs into national planning processes.

Top Economic Commission for Africa (ECA) and the Nigerian government officials and other guests would be in attendance.

The High Level Policy Dialogue, NaijaAgroNet reports commences Wednesday, June 28, 2017 and would last till Friday, June 30, this year.


NaijaAgroNet further reports that Africa’s top policymakers will attend the meeting being hosted by ECA and the Nigerian Government. 

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Thursday, September 3, 2015

WFC to launch five-year forests, water action plan

The World Forestry Congress (WFC) has said it will launch a five-year forest and water action plan to tackle rise in global demand for fresh and access to safe drinking water, and call for action in areas of science, policy, economics and forest practices,  NaijaAgroNet.

This, NaijaAgroNet gathered, will form part of the programmes for the XIV World Forestry Congress slated to hold in Durban, South Africa from September 7 to 11, 2015. The congress will also highlight the need for governments, civil society and the private sector to boost investment in forests as a key element for sustainable development.

Themed  “Forests and People: Investing in a Sustainable Future”, participants will discuss ways to unleash the full potential of forests to lift rural populations out of poverty, act as buffers against climate change and inspire new technologies and renewable products, NaijaAgroNet gathered.

Being the first time the congress will be hosted on African soil, about 20 ministers and deputy ministers from around the world will join heads of international and national agencies and several thousand delegates gathering for the Congress, which takes place every six years. The Congress proceedings will be in English, French and Spanish and will be webcast

Jacob Zuma, President of the Republic of South Africa, Prince Laurent of Belgium, Special Ambassador to Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) for Forests and the Environment, and Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma, Chairperson of the African Union Commission, are among speakers who will open the Congress.

The winner of the Wangari Maathai Forest Champions Award 2015, NaijaAgroNet learnt, will be announced at a special ceremony. The USD 20,000 prize was established by the Collaborative Partnership on Forests in 2012 and recognizes extraordinary efforts by an individual to improve and sustain forests and the people who depend on them.

At the opening ceremony, FAO Director-General José Graziano da Silva will launch FAO’s latest Global Forest Resources Assessment, which reveals how the world’s forests have changed over the last 25 years and provides the latest information on the state of sustainable forest management.

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Wednesday, June 10, 2015

Da Silva outlines policies to eradicate hunger


The Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), Director-General José Graziano da Silva, has outlined policy direction that will become signpost of his current tenure at the helm of FAO affairs for another four years, NaijaAgroNet reports.

Graziano who recently received a total number of 177 out of 182 votes cast by FAO member countries which represents the highest number of favourable votes ever scored by a candidate for the FAO topmost job said, "I thank you for showing confidence in the Organization under my leadership," Graziano da Silva told members of FAO's governing Conference meeting in Rome this week,.

"You have given me a clear mandate to lead this Organization in my second term, pressing on the path that we charted together," he stated.

The FAO Director-General, in his address, underscored that the next step must be the complete eradication of chronic undernourishment. This, together with ending malnutrition has been included in the Sustainable Development Goals which will be finalized later this year setting the global development agenda for the decades to come, NaijaAgroNet learnt.

Raising levels of nutrition has always been "at the heart" of the mandate of FAO, Graziano da Silva hinted.

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Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Investing in science can reduce water risks – study


Recent study on water-related project has revealed that investment in science could help to reduce risks associated with water resources.
The study was conducted by the largest public funder of projects to improve the global environment and promote sustainable development, the Global Environment Facility (GEF) with the partnership of the United Nations University and the United Nations Environmental Programme (UNEP).
About 200 major international water-related projects over the past two decades were studied which gave room for the identification of existing as well as emerging challenges and how science could offer solutions.
A press statement made available to NaijaAgroNet revealed that the study extracted lessons from a portfolio of major transboundary water projects involving investments of more than US$7 billion, about N1,1 billion.
It is also revealed that river basins in particular are set to experience growing pressures as a result of urbanization, rising water scarcity and poor water quality.
GEF warns that the linkage between science and policymaking needs strengthening, and that the consequences of poor decision-making are dire leading to water-bankruptcy in some regions in the world with their adverse effects on food and energy security.
The study showed a significant drop in the level of dissolved oxygen levels in marine areas which is a critical ecological indicator. A major increase of stored heat in oceans was also highlighted in the report.
The director, United Nations University International Network on Water, Environment and Health, Zafar Adeel said the study underscores how often early 'alarm bells' with respect to emerging issues can be heard and must be heeded.
"The report offers helpful recommendations to the GEF to foster this process," he said.
Also commenting, the GEF's International Waters Focal Area Coordinator, Ivan Zavadsky said that over 20 years GEF has catalyzed the largest investment of its kind in human history.
“GEF's $1.3 billion catalyzed a total of $7 billion of investment in managing shared waters - fresh and marine - in almost every part of the planet, above and below its surface," Ivan said.
"World leaders agreed at the Rio+20 summit in June to strengthen the science-policy interface and to foster international research collaboration on sustainable development. This is especially important in respect to water resources at a point in time of unprecedented pressures from climate change and urbanization to pollution and over extraction," said UN Under-Secretary-General and UNEP Executive Director Achim Steiner.


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Saturday, June 2, 2012

Outlook calls on government to boost job creation for African youths


The May edition of the African Economic Outlook has called on African governments to boost jobs creation for youths on the continent.
NaijaAgroNet gathered that the population of African youth is expected to double by 2045 giving the continent one billion workforce and making it the largest globally.
To this, the Outlook urged the government to provide employment opportunities and also ensure a political process that would allow the youths to express their views towards policy changes in order to prevent instability on the continent.
"This is an opportune time to reset the policy agenda of African governments towards an inclusive, employment-creating and sustainable growth strategy, aimed particularly at addressing the special needs of the young," part of the Outlook made available to NaijaAgroNet reads.
The current trend of education on the continent, NaijaAgroNet further gathered will result to 59 per cent of 20-24 years old with secondary education by 2030 as against the present 42 per cent.
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Thursday, May 31, 2012

Jonathan bans foreign foods at govt functions


President Goodluck Ebele Jonathan
President Goodluck Ebele Jonathan has banned continental dishes at all government official functions in order to promote local foods.
He said, the move by the federal government to ban foreign foods at state functions is to encourage the consumption of what is produced locally.
“We must grow local, buy local and eat local,” he declared.
The prescribed local foods by the president, NaijaAgroNet learnt includes local rice and cassava bread, to make use of the large population to create market for locally produced foods.
In his democracy day presidential address, Jonathan noted that the state house has been feeding on cassava bread and local rice, hence keeping his promise.
“Our agricultural transformation agenda is directed at promoting local production,” he said.
President Jonathan also asserted that agriculture accounts for about 40 per cent of the nation’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP), while creating job opportunities for over 70 per cent of the total population.
He expressed the federal government’s move in the transforming the agriculture sector as Nigeria has a huge comparative advantage and increase in productivity, saying it would help reduce the rate of rural poverty as well as reviving the rural economy.
“Our goal is to add 20 million metric tonnes of food to our domestic food supply by 2015 and create 3.5 million jobs,” he said, stressing, “We are aggressively pursuing an agricultural transformation agenda.”
President Jonathan further affirmed that agriculture is no longer a development programme, hence the need to treat it as a business, one that could generate wealth and create jobs for millions of our youths.
Giving the reason behind the federal government stopping the distribution of fertilizers, the president said only 11 per cent of farmers benefit from the fertilizers that was earlier distributed. “The old system encouraged rent seekers to collude and deprive farmers of access to fertilizers, while some of the fertilizers ended up with political farmers and in neighbouring countries,” he said.
This, NaijaAgroNet learnt lead to the total deregulation of the procurement and commercialization of fertilizers and seeds by the federal government to the private sector in order to put an end to corruption culture in fertilizer procurement exercise.
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FAO develops online portal to unlock food potentials


Thermal zones (baseline period: 1961-1990)

The United Nations Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) with the partnership of International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis (IIASA) recently developed an online data portal in order to help unlock the planet's potential on food.
The data portal, NaijaAgroNet learnt is named Global Agro-ecological Zones (GAEZ) Portal and developed in order to assist in unlocking the planet's potential to feed the rapidly growing population.
The United Nations' agency affirmed that there is need to increase the global food production to 60 per cent by 2050 as the world population is expected to rise above 9 billion.
FAO revealed to NaijaAgroNet in a press statement that the portal is a planning tool designed specially to help identify areas of increased global food production while maintaining natural resource base and facing the challenge of climate change.
FAO identified water scarcity as one of the limiting factor for area expansion that intensification of food production occurs within a changing climate, thereby requiring adaptation and mitigation.
Director of FAO's Land and Water Division, Parviz Koohafkan said GAEZ would help identify where there are ‘bridgeable yield gaps' and what causes them, allowing for the formulation of appropriate investment policies with the provision of appropriate support for farmers to help boost food production.
FAO recent study revealed that crop production by small farmers can run as low as 30 to 40 per cent of potential in some areas in Eastern Europe, the Caucasus and Central Asia.
The study also made known that the Sub-Sahara Africa is the region with the highest yielding gap in cereal. Africa as a whole also recorded about 1.2 tones of cereal per hectare compared to an average yield of some 3 tons per hectare in the developing world as a whole.
The online data seeks to enhance planners' and decision makers' capacity to estimate agricultural production potentials and variability under different environmental and management scenarios, including climatic conditions, management regimes, water availability and levels of inputs.
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Tuesday, May 29, 2012

FG inaugurates agric transformation for food security


President Goodluck Jonathan
Nigerian President, Dr. Goodluck Ebele Jonathan recently launched the Agricultural Transformation Implementation Council (ATIC) so as to achieve food security.
The minister, Agriculture and Rural Development, Dr. Akinwunmi Adesina, is to co-ordinate the council with the president, Goodluck Jonathan and the vice president, Namadi Sambo as Chairman and alternate chairman respectively.
The agenda of the council is to increase efficiency and profitability along the value-added chains of 12 selected agricultural commodities, namely cotton, cocoa, cassava, oil-palm, maize, soya bean, onion, rice, livestock, fisheries, tomato and sorghum.
NaijaAgroNet gathered that the Council would also provide an oversight functions for the entire Agricultural Transformation Agenda and the creation of 3.5 million new jobs from rice, cassava, sorghum, cocoa and cotton value chains.
Over N60 billion will also be injected into the economy from the substitution of 20 per cent of bread wheat flour with cassava flour, which was successfully launched recently by President Jonathan. 
Source: Vanguard
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