The Economist Feeding the World: Quality vs quantity


Mahabub Hossain, Global Panel member, gave the keynote presentation ‘Spotlight on Sourthern Asia’. He said that despite respectable economic growth in many countries in South Asia (SA) over the last decades, under-nutrition has only reduced slightly and remains a major development concern for policy makers. Dr Hossain mentioned that achieving food and nutrition security requires coordinated action in a number of fronts. He provided an overview of the progress and status of food and nutrition security in SA and presented the main challenges of achieving and sustaining food security, which includes population growth, scarcity of natural resources and availability of land. Finally Dr Hossain listed some relevant policy considerations.

Jeff Waage, Technical Adviser to the Global Panel, participated in the Panel Discussion ‘Nurturing nutrition: considering quality in tandem with quantity of food provision’. Prof. Waage said that agriculture is now tasked with dramatically increasing availability and affordability of nutritious foods, to combat the problem of poor diet quality which underpins both undernutrition and growing overweight, obesity and non-communicable disease in the developing world. The Global Panel has identified four key areas of policy making where intervention can improve the healthy food environment for people, especially the poor, and increase the quality of diets for vulnerable groups like women and children. Prof. Waage also listed ways in which we could promote a diversified, balanced and healthy diet.