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UPLB, Searca stage nutrition-sensitive agriculture conference

Tagaytay—Realizing the important role of nutrition-sensitive agriculture (NSA), the University of the Philippines Los Baños Interdisciplinary Studies Center on Food and Nutrition Security has convened an International Conference on NSA and Food Systems.

This conference aims to contribute to improving food security and health outcomes, through production of diverse, safe and nutrient-rich food. It started Wednesday and ends Sunday at the Development Academy of the Philippines in this city.

Themed “Strategic Approaches to Nutrition-Sensitive Agriculture and Food Systems in Southeast Asia”, the conference is in partnership with the Southeast Asian Regional Center for Graduate Study and Research in Agriculture (Searca), Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations Philippines, and Cavite State University.

Searca said the conference aims to increase awareness of various sectors on the nature and scope of NSA, to identify the opportunities, challenges and issues involving NSA in the Philippines and in Southeast Asia, and to formulate polices and strategies to enhance NSA in relation to food and nutrition security.

In line with its Umbrella Program on Food and Nutrition Security in Southeast Asia, Searca is organizing the plenary session on case studies on integrating nutrition into agriculture.

The session will focus on lessons that can be drawn from success stories of addressing nutrition across the different stages of the food system.

Topics in this plenary session will be discussed by experts from various parts of the world. Dr. Marco Wopereis, Director General of the World Vegetable Center, will talk about mobilizing the nutritional power of vegetables.

Dr. Leila S. Africa, Director and Professor of the UPLB College of Human Ecology-Institute of Human Nutrition and Food will present outcomes of Promoting Nutrition-Sensitive School Gardens and Feeding Programs through the School-Plus-Home-Gardens Project: The Case of Laguna, Philippines.

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, will discuss how plant factories in Taiwan to promote food and nutrition security in an urban setting.

Emily Monville Oro, Country Director, and Dr. Julian Gonsalves, Senior Program Advisor of the International Institute of Rural Reconstruction (IIRR), will speak on sustaining and scaling-up nutrition-sensitive agriculture.

Rizal G. Corales, Program Lead, Integrated Rice-based Agribiosystems of the Philippine Rice Research Institute (PhilRice), will elaborate on the case of Palayamanan as a strategy to promote nutrition-sensitive agriculture.

Dr. Mallikarjuna Swamy, Scientist II-Rice Breeder (Biofortification) and Lead, Healthier Rice Breeding Group of the International Rice Research Institute (IRRI), will tackle achieving nutritional security through development of healthier rice: progress and prospects.

The plenary session is chaired by Shun-Nan Chiang, Ph.D. Candidate, Department of Sociology, University of California, Santa Cruz, who is also a Searca Visiting Research Fellow. Dr. Pedcris Orencio, Searca’s Program Head for Research and Development, will provide the session synthesis.

Topics: University of the Philippines Los Baños , Umbrella Program on Food and Nutrition Security , Interdisciplinary Studies Center on Food and Nutrition Security
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