Biodiversity, Dietary Diversity and Quality
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Biodiversity, Dietary Diversity and Quality - Dr Emile Frison, Director General, Bioversity International

Biodiversity, Dietary Diversity and Quality - Dr Emile Frison, Director General, Bioversity International

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  • 1.4 Billion overweight from 870 million people chronically undernourished in 2010–12,000 edible plants Photo Source: IFPRI
  • Photo Source: Bioversity International 2012
  • This slide shows the different determinants of nutritional status using an adaptation of the UNICEF framework for the causes of malnutrition. Improving productivity alone can’t immediately translate to improved nutrition outcomes for a variety of reasons. However, if we tackle the problem from various angles for the SAME households, we can achieve success.The immediate determinants are food/nutrient intake and health. Proper food consumption provides the necessary nutrients humans require for healthy growth, development and day to day functioning. Good health allows people to optimize uptake of those nutrients through appetite, digestion and metabolism. Being free from disease also prevents nutrient losses such as with diarrhea which remains a top killer of children worldwide. Together diet and health jointly determine nutritional status.Below these are the underlying determinants of food access, care resources and health, water and sanitation services. These are determinants at the household or family level. Many of our interventions occur in this set of domains. (CLICK) Care resources are located in the middle and can be addressed by both sectors—nutrition awareness is an important care resource. 4. The underlying causes represent long routes, for longer-term and sustainable improvement. (CLICK) Interventions for both short and long-term exist in each sector. Both agriculture and health sectors can promote good nutrition (short routes) as well as address underlying problems (as highlighted in the long routes interventions).—this last line gets cut off, so presenter may wish to hand write it in the notes.5. Because of the multiple underlying causes of malnutrition, more than one sector is needed to solve population malnutrition problems. We need to let each sector contribute it’s part by doing what it does best. Agriculture and health are both necessary but neither is sufficient alone to solve the problem.
  • Broader and integrated approaches from agriculture, health, water and sanitation, infrastructure, gender, education, good governance, legal, judicial and administrative protection are needed.
  • Pertains to the biological variety exhibited among crops and animals used for food and agriculture as well as among organisms that constitute agricultural ecosystems at ecosystem, species, and genetic levels


  • 1. Biodiversity, Dietary Diversity and QualityEmile Frisson, Director General, Bioversity InternationalFood Security in Africa – Bridging Research and PracticeSydney, Australia 29 – 30 November 2012
  • 2. Context
  • 3. The Current Situation- 870 million undernourished and 2 billion micronutrient deficiencies- 1.4 billion adults overweight and childhood obesity rising- Of the 50,000 edible plants only a few hundred significantly contribute to foodsupplies- 3 (Maize, Rice and Wheat) provide 60% of world’s food energy intake
  • 4. Necessary Actions Innovative strategies for sustainable and resilient food systems, emphasizing biodiversity Rethink how food is produced, stored, processed, distributed, marketed and consumed Some Key Issues are: - Focus on productivity increases of staples - Dietary Transition - Value Chain and Food System Approach - Habitat loss, resource depletion, population, climate change
  • 5. Nutrition, Biodiversity & AgriculturalInterventions
  • 6. S Interventions Nutritional Status H O R- Breastfeeding T- Complementary feeding Food/nutrient R- Vitamin A Health O intake supplementation U T- Zinc, Iron, Folate E supplementation S- Hygiene Health, Care Water/ Food Household Care-Agricultural Resource Sanitation security Food Resources Lintensification s Access Services O-- Biodiversity N- Poverty reduction G- Income generation- Education INSTITUTIONS R- Health systems O strengthening POLITICAL & IDEOLOGICAL U- Womens’ FRAMEWORK T empowerment E ECONOMIC STRUCTURE S RESOURCES ENVIRONMENT, TECHNOLOGY, PEO PLE Adapted from Ruel (2008) & UNICEF (1990) 6
  • 7. Agricultural biodiversity and nutrition - pathways
  • 8. Sustainable Diets and Food Systems Staple food production essential for macronutrients1 but must be….. Complemented with foods that provide essential2 nutrients, livelihoods and ecosystem services Recognizing agricultural biodiversity decreases risk3 (diversification) and increases resilience while avoiding natural capital depletion 8
  • 9. Where does agricultural biodiversity fit?We know it is critical as:• a safety net against hunger• a basis to strengthen local food systems and environmental sustainability• a rich source of nutrients for improved diet diversity and quality 9
  • 10. The EconomistFeeding the World– Africa ConferenceJohannesburg15-16 November 2012
  • 11. The Economist Feeding the World – Africa Conference1 The crucial role of women2 Importance of investment in research3 Innovative public/private partnerships4 Food and NUTRITION security Greater focus on and use of the diversity of African5 crops 11
  • 12. Re-introducing green leafy vegetables in Kenya 12
  • 13. Thank youFor more