Stakeholders Pursue Mutual Learning to Support Food Security in Asia
KATHMANDU, NEPAL—Country and regional stakeholders from governments, researchers, non-governmental organizations, donors, and the private sector are gathering in Kathmandu November 14-16 to review and share state of the art knowledge, practical lessons, and tools for supporting agriculture and food security strategies in Asia.
The “state of the art” technical workshop and conference, Knowledge, Tools, and Lessons for Informing the Design and Implementation of Food Security Strategies in Asia, is organized by the International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI) and Nepal’s Institute for Integrated Development Studies (IIDS), and supported and funded by the United States Agency for International Development (USAID).
The workshop aims to bring together stakeholders in the various sub-regions of Asia to review and share knowledge of successful approaches, practical lessons, and tools for supporting agricultural and food security strategies in Asia. The workshop will allow participants to learn from regional counterparts to address common challenges, such as population growth, rapid rural-to-urban migration, climate change, food price instability, and undernutrition. It also will serve to identify key areas where more knowledge is needed. The workshop will provide an unprecedented opportunity for partners and implementers to meet and collaborate with USAID staff working on agriculture throughout Asia.
Asia accounts for 59 percent of the world’s population and is home to more than 68 percent of poor people living below $1.25 a day. It is an extremely diverse region, and both successful and lagging countries are affected by recurrent crises such as poverty, food insecurity, environmental and climatic shocks, and economic and financial turmoil. The region is recognizing the importance of cooperation and dialogue to find solutions to shared problems.
With over 30 years of cumulative research experience, IFPRI is organizing and facilitating the workshop to explore the need for setting up a future knowledge management system for informing food and nutrition security strategies in the region, such as through the monitoring of key indicators and the promotion of cross-country learning and local knowledge sharing.
“Regional learning and cooperation can open wider markets, increase access to improved technologies and skills, and encourage sharing of lessons and knowledge about the most effective interventions to achieve food and nutrition security,” said Paul Dorosh, Director of IFPRI’s Development Strategy and Governance Division.
IIDS, one of Nepal’s leading independent, non-partisan research institutes, is collaborating with IFPRI in organizing this important workshop by bringing together key stakeholders with local knowledge and expertise.
“Following our established role of fostering informed debate and exchange of experiences within and outside the country, we are pleased to co-organize this technical workshop,” said Bishnu Dev Pant, Executive Director of IIDS.
In Asia, USAID has active food security, agriculture, and nutrition programs and plays a central role in the President’s Feed the Future (FTF) initiative, the U.S. global hunger and food security initiative. USAID supports this effort through robust programs in four Asian FTF focus countries—Cambodia, Nepal, Bangladesh, Tajikistan—and through active food security programming in several non-focus countries throughout the region. This workshop will provide an opportunity for focus and non-focus countries to share experiences, strategies, and lessons learned.
“There is a lot of knowledge within the region,” said David Atteberry, USAID Mission Director in Nepal. “We need to collect and share it, learn what has worked, and put those solutions to work in a regional resource network that can benefit both the country-owned planning process and the development partners involved in food security strategy.”
Topics covered during the three-day technical workshop and conference will include:
- The implications of growth and transformation on food availability and access
- Science and technology solutions, including climate change adaptation and mitigation options
- Integrating agriculture and nutrition interventions
- Review of experiences and lessons of program design and implementation and approaches, tools, and data systems for monitoring and evaluation
- Knowledge system tools and approaches for bringing evidence into policy decisions
- Capturing lessons and tools for improving food security and nutrition outcomes in Asia
In addition, after the meeting, participants will take part in a field trip to the remote western foothills of the Himalaya Mountains to learn about USAID’s food security programming, part of FTF, and observe firsthand challenges and successes.
“We hope this is the start of an ongoing process in Asia,” said Dorosh. “There is tremendous potential for this kind of mutual learning to accelerate economic growth and catalyze further reductions in poverty and hunger.”
For more details on the workshop: http://www.resakss-asia.org/
The International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI) seeks sustainable solutions for ending hunger and poverty. IFPRI is one of 15 centers supported by the Consultative Group on International Agricultural Research, an alliance of 64 governments, private foundations, and international and regional organizations. Please visit our website at www.ifpri.org.
Institute for Integrated Development Studies (IIDS) is a leading non-governmental, non-profit organization research institute of Nepal registered under the Societies Registration Act 1977. The mission of IIDS is to contribute to identification, analysis, understanding and response to major development policy issues facing the country. Since its establishment, IIDS has always been to contribute to more informed public policies and programs through the provision of technical assistance and dissemination of the research findings and recommendations in different formats to target audiences, mainly the government. www.iids.org.np.
The United States Agency for International Development (USAID) has been the principal U.S. agency extending foreign assistance since 1961. In Asia, USAID programs address many problems that cross national boundaries, such as human and wildlife trafficking, HIV/AIDS and infectious diseases, global climate change, natural resources conservation, food security, trade, and political and economic conflict. For more information, visit www.usaid.gov.