The debate was organized by France and Kyrgyzstan and it was held by Madeleine Ocline, Head of the International Development Sector in EU, by Peggy Pascal, from Action Against Hunger, by Gabor Figeckzy, Advocacy General of IFOAM and by Alisher Yuldashev, a Rural Service Provider from Kyrgyzstan.
The main concern of the side event was how to tackle nutrition challenges when creating food and agriculture-related policies and programs and to demonstrate positive results that derived from successful policies and programs.
Nutrition is the indispensable condition without which the individual cannot develop its full potential. The first speaker, Madeleine Ocline, explained that the EU has made a very strong commitment to contribute to reducing the burden of malnutrition. In order to make a difference on nutrition security, she said, it is essential to have a multisector approach accompanied by communication and coordination between all the actors involved. Moreover, policy dialogue and close collaboration are needed. The EU is giving a big effort to integrate nutrition in sustainable agriculture while perpetrating two important projects in West Africa that deal with primary health care, integration of behavioral change and governance. Furthermore, it is important to strengthen partnership and coordination, to monitor impacts in the countries, to communicate effectively and, most of all, to create a nutrition sensitive agriculture.
Then, Gabor Figeckzy, Advocacy General of IFOAM, presented the participants ‘The Nutrition in Mountain Agro-ecosystems’, namely NMA project, whose goal is to build nutrition-sensitive agricultural practices and promote resilience in mountain regions of Nepal, Pakistan, Kyrgyzstan, Ethiopia, and Peru. In those countries, nutrition is a key problem to be solved from the basis: through agricultural knowledge and know how. There is the need to educate people on the ground, training on sustainable production systems and facilitating access to markets for generating more income. Moreover, the MAAN or mountain agro-ecosystem action network, is an online platform where all the actors, mostly rural servers, can share their experience, innovative ideas, and practices online.
After this speaker, Alisher Yuldashev, a rural service provider in Kyrgyzstan, talked about the great improvement that the project is bringing to the locals in terms of diversification of diets, the involvement of local women and improvement in post-harvest.
After his witness, Peggy Pascal, from Action Against Hunger, highlighted a lot of different programs that her organization is conducting in West Africa. There, agriculture is the main source of revenues and a key cause of malnutrition is mainly the gap between nutrient needs and intake. Moreover, it has been measured that 70% of people suffering from hunger are smallholder farmers. In order to combat malnutrition, it is important to educate on the important concepts of diversification of agricultural systems, biodiversification and fortification’s processes.