SEARCA joins UPLB, FAO-Philippines, and CvSU in championing nutrition-sensitive agriculture

By Bessie M. Burgos FANSSEA News

Nutrition-sensitive agriculture (NSA) contributes to improving food security and health outcomes, through production of diverse, safe, and nutrient-rich food. Realizing the important role of agriculture in meeting the nutritional needs of the population, the UPLB Interdisciplinary Studies Center on Food & Nutrition Security, as lead convenor, and the Southeast Asian Regional Center for Graduate Study and Research in Agriculture (SEARCA), FAO Philippines, and the Cavite State University, as partners, are organizing the International Conference on Nutrition-Sensitive Agriculture and Food Systems. With the theme Strategic Approaches to Nutrition-Sensitive Agriculture and Food Systems in Southeast Asia, the Conference will take place on 7-10 November 2018 at the Development Academy of the Philippines, Tagaytay City. 

The Conference aims to increase awareness of various sectors on the nature and scope of NSA; identify the different opportunities, challenges, and issues confronting NSA in the Philippines and in Southeast Asia; and formulate policies and strategies to enhance NSA in relation to food and nutrition security.

In line with the Center's Umbrella Program on Food and Nutrition Security in Southeast Asia, SEARCA organizes Plenary Session 3: Case Studies on Integrating Nutrition into Agriculture. Lessons can be drawn from success stories of addressing nutrition across the different stages of the food system, and such is the focus of this session.

There are six papers under this session, namely, Mobilizing the Nutritional Power of Vegetables by Dr. Marco Wopereis, Director General of the World Vegetable Center; Promoting Nutrition-Sensitive School Gardens and Feeding Programs through the School-Plus-Home-Gardens Project: The Case of Laguna, Philippines by Dr. Leila S. Africa, Director and Professor of the Institute of Human Nutrition and Food, College of Human Ecology, UPLB; Plant Factories in Taiwan to Promote Food and Nutrition Security in an Urban Setting by Dr. Wei Fang, Director of the Center of Excellence for Controlled Environment Agriculture and Professor of Bio-Industrial Mechatronics Engineering of the National Taiwan University; Sustaining and Scaling-up Nutrition-Sensitive Agriculture by Ms. Emily Monville Oro, Country Director, and Dr. Julian Gonsalves, Senior Program Advisor of the International Institute of Rural Reconstruction (IIRR); The Case of Palayamanan as a Strategy to Promote Nutrition-Sensitive Agriculture by Mr. Rizal G. Corales, Program Lead, Integrated Rice-based Agribiosystems of the Philippine Rice Research Institute (PhilRice); and Achieving Nutritional Security through Development of Healthier Rice: Progress and Prospects by Dr. Mallikarjuna Swamy, Scientist II- Rice Breeder (Biofortification) and Lead, Healthier Rice Breeding Group of the International Rice Research Institute (IRRI).

Plenary Session 3 will be chaired by Mr. Shun-Nan Chiang, Ph.D. Candidate, Department of Sociology, University of California, Santa Cruz, and SEARCA Visiting Research Fellow. Dr. Pedcris M. Orencio, SEARCA's Program Head for Research and Development, will provide the session synthesis.