Resilient Policies for Nutritional Security – IFPRI 2020 Conference side event
Jeff Waage, Technical Advisor to the Global Panel, welcomed the attendees and introduced the Global Panel, organiser of this side event. He mentioned that this event will explore resilience in the context of agriculture, food systems and nutrition. The Global Panel focusses on helping policy change in agriculture sector and in the food sector and it is this latter, what the Panel believes is a relatively neglected area food systems, their resilience and approaches to enhancing this is the focus of this meeting.
Emmy Simmons, Global Panel member, elaborated on the Global Panel’s role and its objectives. Emmy also introduced the panellists of the side event who will be talking from the basis of their research, from their corporate positions and from their engagement, both as analysts as well as practitioners on the ground.
She said the focus of this event will be on the area of farm gate to retail, including looking down the chain toward the retail sector, looking at adding resilience as well as value. At the end of the session we aim to have a better understanding how we as a community, as we as individuals, are going to move toward and more efficient, a more resilient middle segment of the value chain, or the supply chain.
Bart Minten, Senior Research Fellow at IFPRI, talked about the dramatic transformations happening at different levels in agri-food value chains in Asia, also referred to as the ‘quiet revolution’. He first looked at the data collected on rice; trying to understand the major demand area in a country and then looking how they were actually getting food to these big cities. He then gave an overview of the main findings coming from these surveys.
Eric Muraguri, Director of Chicken Choice, talked about providing chicken products that are high in protein to those Kenyans that at the bottom of the pyramid, poor people living in the populated slum areas of Nairobi and its environments. He went over the different challenges Chicken Choice is facing, including distribution, storage and trying to guarantee supply and food safety; and how Chicken Choice is trying to overcome these.
Hans Joehr, Global Head of Agriculture of Nestlé, explained how as a food company you can try to meet the nutritional needs of consumers. He provided an insight to the ‘popular position product’ set up: delivering what is needed locally to meet the nutritional deficits in a certain region. This can be difficult to do because you not only need to make the product available, it also has to be accessible and affordable. The product has to be tasty, good, safe and has to have the right quality.
Bonnie McClafferty, Director, Agriculture and Nutrition Director of GAIN (Global Alliance for Improved Nutrition) said it is critical to recognise private sectors or markets as they provide the reach and coverage that we might not be getting through the public distribution. Bonnie argued that there is an entire sector dedicated to the beginning of the supply chain: the agriculture sector. However, as we start to move up the supply chain (industrial food processing, distribution, transport and trade) we see that the actors are the private sector. We need policy and investments that helps them, and that recognise their role in the food system.
She concluded that we need to look beyond productivity at the resilience of markets because if your markets aren’t working where it matters, nutritious products are not going to reach to the people who need it.