More than 350 scientists from 50 countries met in Accra, Ghana, to advance research in agriculture, nutrition, and health during the third annual Agriculture, Nutrition, and Health (ANH) Academy Week, held June 25 to 29. The international conference was organized by the global research network ANH Academy, led by A4NH and the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine’s (LSHTM) IMMANA program (Innovative Methods and Metrics for Agriculture and Nutrition Actions).
This year, the Academy Week was held in partnership with the University of Ghana and the African Nutrition Society, alongside others.
Over the course of the week, attendees shared and discussed innovative research being conducted linking the fields of agriculture, nutrition, and health, including a wide range of work from across the A4NH research portfolio. Highlights included:
- A Learning Lab focusing on how to measure the healthiness of diets, presented by Food Systems for Healthier Diets flagship leader Inge Brouwer and colleagues;
- An opening panel presentation from Agnes Quisumbing of IFPRI on what dimensions of women’s empowerment matter for nutrition outcomes. This followed a Learning Lab introducing the project-level Women’s Empowerment in Agriculture Index (pro-WEAI) led by Quisumbing and other A4NH colleagues. Jessica Heckert of IFPRI also shared work from A4NH’s gender portfolio, detailing experiences in developing a health and nutrition module for WEAI during a session on methods and metrics;
- A presentation from Michael Diressie on HarvestPlus’s experience promoting biofortified orange sweet potatoes in Uganda via a radio serial. HarvestPlus colleague Caitlin Herrington shared the Biofortification Priority Index during the session on metrics and methods, while Keith Lividni explained the link between nutrient availability and trade;
- An overview and update on the Aflasafe initiative in Africa from IITA’s Alejandro Ortega-Beltran, which came just hours after the launch of Aflasafe GH02 in Ghana; and
- A Learning Lab on food safety metrics from ILRI’s Silvia Alonso and colleagues. Later in the week, Alonso also presented work she did in partnership with Food Safety flagship leader Delia Grace and others on building food safety capacity in Africa.
Following successful meetings in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, in 2016 and Kathmandu, Nepal, in 2017, the ANH Academy returned to Africa this year, with Ghana chosen as the host in order to bring the conference to a different part of the continent.
“We are delighted to have held this year’s ANH Academy Week in Ghana,” said John McDermott, Director of A4NH. “Having the Academy Week in West Africa allows researchers from the region to share their pioneering research with colleagues elsewhere, and engage the next generation of West African researchers with research leaders globally.”
ANH Academy is a global research network in agriculture and food systems for improved nutrition and health to serve as a platform for learning and sharing. It is jointly founded by the Leverhulme Centre for Integrative Research on Agriculture and Health (LCIRAH), the programme on Innovative Methods and Metrics for Agriculture and Nutrition Actions (IMMANA) led by the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine, and the CGIAR Research Program on Agriculture for Nutrition and Health (A4NH). To learn more about ANH Academy and this conference, please visit anh-academy.org/
Video from conference sessions will be available on the ANH Academy website soon.