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Innovating Agri-food Systems in Asia for Human and Planetary Health


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Shenggen Fan
Asian Development Bank
November 6, 2018

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Innovating Agri-food Systems in Asia for Human and Planetary Health

  1. 1. Shenggen Fan, November 2018 Shenggen Fan | Director General International Food Policy Research Institute Asian Development Bank | November 6, 2018 INNOVATING AGRI- FOOD SYSTEMS IN ASIA FOR HUMAN AND PLANETARY HEALTH
  2. 2. Shenggen Fan, November 2018 Outline Comprehensive, high-quality research is critical for a sustainable and healthy food future Innovations in policies, institutions, and technologies are imperative to reshape food systems Despite progress, multiple burdens of malnutrition persist AND we are not on track for many SDGs
  3. 3. Shenggen Fan, November 2018 Source: FAO 2018 Prevalence and number of undernourished worldwide and in Asia Asia bears the greatest global share of child stunting and wasting Source: GNR 2017 Prevalence of adult obesity (BMI≥30), 2016(%) Source: WHO 2018 Despite progress, multiple burdens of malnutrition persist Millions % 627.3 515.1 907.5 820.8 16.8 11.4 14.8 10.9 0 5 10 15 20 25 30 0 100 200 300 400 500 600 700 800 900 1000 Number of people undernourished Asia Number of people undernourished World Prevalence of undernourishment Asia Prevalence of undernourishment World Stunting Wasting
  4. 4. Shenggen Fan, November 2018 Source: UNICEF/WHO/WB 2018 Without accelerated progress, hunger and malnutrition will persist beyond 2030 Source: FAO 2018 Undernourished population (millions) We are not on track on SDGs Source: WHO 2018 0 100 200 300 400 500 600 700 800 900 1000 2000 2005 2010 2015 2020 2025 2030 Number of people undernourished Forecast Upper bound forecast Lower bound forecast Children affected by stunting (millions) 0 50 100 150 200 250 300 Children affected by stunting Forecast 0 10 20 30 40 50 60 1990 1995 2000 2005 2010 2015 2020 2025 2030 Overweight (BMI≥25) Forecast Upper bound forecast Lower bound forecast Prevalence of adult overweight (%)
  5. 5. Shenggen Fan, November 2018 Over half of SDGs relate to food security and nutrition Reshaped food systems are critical We must reshape food systems to deliver on the SDGs Innovations are imperative to go beyond business-as-usual Policies, institutions, and technologies are key to accelerating progress, while maximizing synergies and minimizing trade-offs
  6. 6. Shenggen Fan, November 2018 Reform policies to increase availability and affordability of nutritious foods
  7. 7. Shenggen Fan, November 2018 Figure Source: Headey 2017 Fortified infant cereal Cheapest dark leafy green Food price differences (calorie price ratio) Reprioritize investment priorities & reform subsidy policies Reform subsidies for agricultural inputs and staple crops • Support incomes of vulnerable groups and production of healthy foods ‒ Prices of nutrient-dense foods rising faster than energy-dense, nutrient-poor foods (Dizon and Herforth 2018)  2-4 point gap between nutritious food price index (NPI) and food consumer price index (CPI) during seasonal price hikes in Pakistan and Afghanistan ‒ Foods rich in protein and micronutrients are expensive, particularly in low-income countries (Headey and Alderman 2018)  Calorie-relative prices compared to staple cereals: >10 times higher for dark leafy greens globally, >15 times higher for fortified infant cereals in Africa  Prices of healthy foods largely linked with local productivity and value chain efficiency Increase investment for R&D in more nutritious foods like fruits, vegetables, beans, dairy, and fish • Unit increase in dietary diversity reduced calorie and protein deficiencies by 11% and 23% respectively in Eastern India (Kumar et al. 2016) • Consuming dairy, eggs, and meat/fish associated with over 6 percentage pt. drop in stunting rates among children in 49 countries across 5 regions (Headey, Hirvonen, and Hoddinott 2018)
  8. 8. Shenggen Fan, November 2018 Enhance nutrition-targeted social protection • Combining transfer programs with behavior change communication can improve child nutrition ‒ In Bangladesh, cash transfers accompanied by high-quality BCC improved children’s consumption of multiple-micronutrient powders or iron supplements in the last week by 22 percentage pts (Hoddinott et al. 2018) • BUT requires complementary policies and programs to link knowledge and behavior (Kramer 2017, Menon et al. 2017) Promote nutritious, sustainable, and healthy diets • Tax emissions-intensive foods (e.g. meat and dairy) – this could avoid more than 100,000 deaths in 2020 from reduced dietary and weight-related risk factors (Springmann et al. 2016) • Tax nutrient-poor foods – e.g. Mexico’s sugar sweetened beverage (SSB) taxes ‒ SSB purchase declined by 6% on average ‒ 9% decline for lower social economic status households Figure Source: Colchero et al. 2016 Incentivize promotion of healthy diets through taxation & social protection Impact of SSB taxes in Mexico
  9. 9. Shenggen Fan, November 2018 • Nearly a third of the world’s food is lost or wasted – significant costs to food security, economies, and the environment • Recent commitments and successes indicate a critical first step ‒ Technical Platform on the Measurement and Prevention of Food Loss and Waste (TPFLW): IFPRI and FAO to align Food Loss Index data collection with improved food loss measurement methodology along food value chain ‒ EU-REFRESH: Develops strategic agreements and technological innovations to reduce food waste with governments, business and local stakeholders in Spain, Germany, Hungary and the Netherlands • Supporting effective, low-cost policies and technologies will be important ‒ Promote improved packaging and dry chain development  400 smallholders in Burkina Faso and Uganda reduced food losses by nearly 98% through proven post-harvest handling techniques and storage technologies (Costa 2014) ‒ Scale up innovative cold chain development  Zero energy cool chamber (ZECC) in India found to lower storage temperature by 11°C (Lal Basediya, Samuel, and Beera 2013) Reduce food loss and waste with data and knowledge
  10. 10. Shenggen Fan, November 2018 Support inclusive institutions and strengthen accountability
  11. 11. Shenggen Fan, November 2018 Strengthen institutions to close gender gaps Reform institutions and governance to ensure women’s empowerment • Women’s Empowerment in Agriculture Index (WEAI) measures gender parity in: ‒ Decisions about agricultural production ‒ Access to and decision-making power over productive resources ‒ Control over use of income ‒ Leadership in the community ‒ Time use Strengthen resource rights ‒ Rwanda: Land registration programs doubled likelihood of household investment in longer-term natural resource management, such as soil conservation (Meinzen-Dick et al. 2017)
  12. 12. Shenggen Fan, November 2018 Enhance institutional capacity on nutrition Support capacity building on nutrition for universities, government agencies, and extension services • Improving institutional capacity on nutrition can help address nutrition- related information asymmetry and facilitate access to necessary assets for households (Davis, Babu, and Blom 2014) • Case studies in India: Review agricultural curriculum to include nutrition for extension officers (Babu et al. 2016) ‒ Integrate nutrition as an outcome of agricultural production processes ‒ Provide nutrition training for midcareer extension workers to fill current vacuum of nutrition content in extension services ‒ Endorsement of nutrition curriculum by central and local government is important to incentivize universities
  13. 13. Shenggen Fan, November 2018 • Coordinate across government sectors on nutrition (health, agriculture, finance, etc.) • Use health and nutrition as performance outcomes for various levels of government • Enhance monitoring and accountability with data NEPAD’s Africa Nutrition Scorecard ‒ Aims to provide a measurement tool on the progress made at country level to effectively reduce malnutrition in Africa Promote effective governance mechanisms Figure source: NEPAD 2015 Africa Nutrition Scorecard
  14. 14. Shenggen Fan, November 2018 Promote multiple-win technologies
  15. 15. Shenggen Fan, November 2018 Picture sources: IRRI, New Agriculturist, and Zen Gardner Photos: AgriLife, ICRISAT, CGIAR • Crop-sensing technologies for efficient fertilizer use (e.g. Greenseeker) ‒ Handheld crop sensor assessing plant nitrogen needs increased profit by $37/hectare and avoided over 9,500 tonnes of greenhouse gas emissions for wheat farmers in Yaqui Valley, Mexico (CIMMYT) • Precision agriculture for sustainable yield enhancements ‒ Microdosing in Niger, Mali, Burkina Faso saw millet yields increase by over 50% & better water absorption (ICRISAT) • Improved, climate-resilient varieties ‒ Cassava varieties that are early maturing, pest- and drought-resistant increased yields by over 60% in Nigeria (IITA) ‒ Disease-resistant lentil varieties increased yields by 27% in Bangladesh (ICARDA) Invest in evidence-based technologies
  16. 16. Shenggen Fan, November 2018 Photos: HarvestPlus • Biofortification ‒ Vitamin- and mineral-rich crops grown and consumed in over 30 countries ‒ More than 30 million people are consuming one or more of 12 biofortified crops globally (HarvestPlus) ‒ Girls and boys consuming biofortified pearl millet in India saw greater improvement in some cognitive performance (attention and memory) than those consuming non-fortified millet (Scott et al. 2018) Support nutrition-driven & nutrition-sensitive technologies Iron beans Vit. A maize Iron pearl millet Zinc wheat Vit. A cassava Vit. A orange sweet potato Zinc rice
  17. 17. Shenggen Fan, November 2018 Picture sources: IRRI, New Agriculturist, and Zen GardnerFigures and Photos: WEF, NIH 2018 • Alternative proteins to reduce GHGs, environmental impact, health risks ‒ Production of cultured meat involves up to 96% lower GHG emissions and water use, and 99% lower land use depending on conventional meat product compared (Thottathil, Jayasekaran, and Othman 2016; Toumisto 2011) • Gene sequencing and editing for seed improvements ‒ Sequenced crop genomes could improve agriculture in challenging climates • Big data and analytics to lower transaction costs, improve monitoring (e.g. CGIAR Platform for Big Data in Agriculture 2017-2022) ‒ Platform to lead in organizing open data, convening partners, and demonstrating the power of big data analytics • Empower breeding programs targeting developing countries (e.g. CGIAR Excellence in Breeding Platform) ‒ Draws innovations from public and private sectors to provide access to cutting-edge tools, services and best practices, training and practical advice Scale up new & established multiple-win technologies
  18. 18. Shenggen Fan, November 2018 Comprehensive, high-quality research is critical for a sustainable and healthy food future
  19. 19. Shenggen Fan, November 2018 Food industry is expanding, especially in developing countries • Increased consolidation and vertical coordination • Modernization and expansion of food sector, particularly at midstream stages ‒ Opportunities for job creation, diet diversification, increased food safety • Expansion of supermarkets changing nature of food distribution ‒ By mid-2000s supermarkets controlled up to 50% of food market in Southeast Asia and Central America • ICTs and online distribution channels continue to change market organization and access to food Source: IFPRI 2018; Ruel, Garrett, and Yosef 2017 Global food and agribusiness in 2015 estimated to account for • $5 trillion value • 10% of global consumer spending • 40% of employment Sources: Goedde, Horii, and Sanghvi 2015 Priority research areas Food industries for people and planet
  20. 20. Shenggen Fan, November 2018 Source: Ruel et al. 2017 • Nearly 90% of projected urban population increase is concentrated in Asia and Africa ‒ China, India, and Nigeria alone expected to add 900 million urban residents • Burdens of malnutrition shifting from rural areas to urban areas • Rapid urbanization and changing diets are increasing pressure on food systems • Research needed on: ‒ Characteristics of urban life driving challenges and opportunities for food security and nutrition ‒ Urban food systems, environments, and patterns ‒ Urban agriculture ‒ Governance of the informal food and retail sector World East Asia Europe Historical changes in diet composition (kcal/capita/day) North America South Asia Africa Source: FAO 2018 Priority research areas Urban food security and nutrition
  21. 21. Shenggen Fan, November 2018 Source: Campbell et al. 2017 Key to scale up investments in climate resilience and agri-food systems approaches for improved health and nutrition outcomes Agriculture is pushing planetary boundaries Under BAU, agriculture will almost reach 2°C target emission for all sectors in 2050 (~21 GtCO2eyr-1) Source: Bajželj et al. 2014 BAU 2° target by 2050 2009 emissions from agriculture CT1 = Current yield trend CT2 = Current yield trend & 50% food waste reduction CT3 = Current yield trend & 50% food waste reduction & Healthy diets YG1 = Yield gap closure (sustainable intensification) YG2 = Yield gap closure & 50% food waste reduction YG3 = Yield gap closure & 50% food waste reduction & Healthy diets Priority research areas Climate-resilient food systems
  22. 22. Shenggen Fan, November 2018 Upcoming global learning event bringing together decision makers, practitioners, researchers, and other stakeholders Break the silos: Cooperation and mutual learning