Fina Opio Presentation at Food Security Futures Conference
Priorities for Public Sector Research onFood Security and Nutrition: Discussion Discussant: Fina Opio
Introduction Congratulate and thank the authors of the paper for an excellent write up. Covered most of the important aspects of food and nutrition ranging from: importance of good nutrition; through Prevalence and costs of malnutrition Conceptual frameworks for food and nutrition Effects of income and food prices on diets Enhancing the nutrient content of specific foods Enhancing supply chains for nutrition and Diversity
Introduction cont. Food safety and Agricultural associated diseases Enhancing supply chains for nutrition and Diversity Food safety and Agricultural associated diseases Time allocation, Nurturing Behaviour and Income – Control linkages Public policy
Areas of focus for this discussionConceptual frameworkMarkets and trade as related to food andnutritionCommercial food fortification and biofortificationThe role of Gender in food and nutritionEffect of policiesFood and Nutrition and agriculture – associateddiseases.
Conceptual frameworkIt is important to note that good nutrition is thefoundation of human health and well-being, physical andcognitive development, and economic productivity.As indicated in the paper Nutrition outcomes depend onmany factors but food systems, policies and institutionsare fundamental.Food systems determine the quantity, quality, diversityand nutrition content of the foods available forconsumption.Food systems vary depending on the location, countryand typology and hence addressing nutrition should takeinto consideration the farming and cropping system inorder to be able to influence the food to be produced
Conceptual framework cont.The issue of supply and demand; markets and tradeare important in determining what is produced .The market demand dictates what is producedFarmers are increasingly producing for specificmarketsHence the issue of value chain from the demandside of consumers is worth notingAs indicated, the food supply chain has alwaysbeen discussed from the supply side.
Enhancing the Nutrient content of specific foods The most common means of improving nutrition quality of foods is through fortification. Fortified products must reach micronutrient deficient consumers through existing or newly established distribution channels. The paper states that fortification is generally inexpensive and highly cost-effective An example given is salt iodization that can reach 80 – 90% of the target population at a cost of approx. $0.05/person/year. The paper, however, states that the cost of reaching the remaining population, often in remote areas, will be higher This hard to reach population in most cases are the relatively poor and are hard hit by malnutrition
Enhancing nutrient content cont. Biofortification which is process of breeding nutrients into food crops, provides a sustainable, long term strategy for delivering micronutrients to rural population in the developing world. The paper states that Biofortified foods; Once developed the micronutrient planting material can be available for farmers to grow for many years. Helps in increasing the adequacy of micronutrient intakes among individuals throughout the life cycle But cannot deliver as high levels of minerals and vitamins pet day as supplements and industrially fortified food.
Enhancing nutrient content cont. There is also the issue of retention of the micronutrients after processing or cooking that still needs attention The issues of legal frameworks to enhance the adoption and use of transgenic crops still need to be dealt with in many countries Political , social and cultural buy-ins Should be acceptable by consumers Apart from providing the required nutrients the Biofortified food should be marketable.
Enhancing nutrient status cont.A casa of OFSP in Uganda before 2007. TheVITAA partnershipPartners included; farmers, women groups,extension, Ngo’s, cultural leaders (e.g.. theQueen of Buganda), the medical school(“Mwanamugimu” clinic), research (NARO,PRAPACE (ASARECA), CIP),the politicians
The role of Gender food and nutritionThe roles of men, women and youth is veryimportant in ensuring that the foodgrown, prepared, processed and consumed has therequired nutrients.Decision making at different levelsControl of resources (land and financesWho does what at what timeMultiple roles of womenYouth migration from Rural areas to Urban townLabour saving technologies at different stagesEducation of Men, women and youth
The role of Gender cont. The paper notes that :1) households that earn less but spend more time in food preparation which gives more nutritious food2) Maternal employment is associated with high infant or child mortality and undernutrition because working women cannot make time available to care for the children3) Reports by World bank and WHO show strong relationship between income and health care. It is important to note that women who are not employed and stay home to work on farm have a lot of chores and may not have the time as indicated in 1 above (example)
Policies in relation to food and nutritionA nutrition policy can be defined as “governmental guidelinesand objectives pertaining to public food supply and nutritionincluding recommendations for healthy diet and changes infood habits to ensure healthy diet.The policies would depend on the nature of nutrition area ofemphasis.For example in sub-Saharan Africa the emphasis would bestunting, kwashiorkor, Vit A and iron deficiency; while in somedeveloped countries obesity would be the problem Whatever the case it is important to ensure that nutrition is anintegral part of the national policy for it to be implementedeffectively.
Challenges related to nutrition policy There are challenges to make nutrition an integral part of the national policy; The complexity of cross –sectional coordination The lack of awareness of senior decision makers of the scale of the nutrition problem and economic consequences The lack of social pressure and advocacy The limited financial resources The limited availability of qualified staff to adequately address the problem
Food safety and agriculture associated diseases This concern is quite important Zoonosis (at least 61% of all human pathogens are zoonotic i.e. transmitted between animals and man). e.g. Tapeworms Brucellosis TB Diseases associated with poor processing or preparation resulting in food poisoning e.g.. aflatoxins
Next steps for researchPolicy research that would come up withrecommendations of cost effective methods forenhancing the nutrition of different foodstargeting different consumers /marketsResearch institutions to intensify the research toenhance the nutrition quality of different cropsmore specifically the staples which most peopledepend on
Nutritious Diet This refers to consumption of a variety of safe foods of sufficient quantity and quality in appropriate combinations; or A combination of foods that can give a balanced diet (with all the nutritional requirement)? Examples:1) “IRIO” from Kenya Potato Beans and/or peas Greens (local-pumpkin leaves) maize