Event: Future Food Systems: How Might They Be Healthier and More Sustainable?

On November 28, A4NH, the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organization (CSIRO) of Australia, and Wageningen University and Research (WUR) will host a side event at the IFPRI/FAO conference "Accelerating the End of Hunger and Malnutrition."

Recognizing that food systems in low and middle-income countries are changing rapidly, the conversation will explore lessons and opportunities to be found in this evolution. Participants will examine current food systems thinking, including research describing drivers of dynamic change such as urbanization, incomes, markets, and environment. Technical, market, government, and nutrition experts in urban and national food systems will explore current and future food system innovations, and audience members will be invited to share interventions. Perspectives from countries including Bangladesh, Vietnam, Nigeria, and Ethiopia, as well as voices from elsewhere in Asia, Africa, and Australia, will spur a practical, solution-oriented discussion on tradeoffs, synergies, and opportunities for partnership.

Participants include:

Jessica Bogard, Chair, is an Accredited Practicing Dietitian (APD) and Nutrition Systems Scientist with the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organization of Australia (CSIRO) Agriculture and Food, based in Brisbane. As a dietitian and public health nutritionist, she is interested in understanding how agriculture and food systems can be leveraged to improve nutrition, particularly among vulnerable population groups including women and young children. She recently completed her PhD at the University of Queensland which examined the contribution of fish to nutrition and food security in Bangladesh. Before joining CSIRO, she worked for WorldFish, developing approaches to integrate nutrition considerations into their work on food security related to fisheries and aquaculture. Her field research experience has been largely focused in Bangladesh and the Pacific Islands.

Stef de Haan, Panelist, is an Agrobiodiversity and Food Systems Researcher at the International Center for Tropical Agriculture’s (CIAT), Sustainable Food Systems program in Hanoi, Vietnam. He has 20 years of experience in agricultural research and development with an emphasis on biosystematics, crop improvement, on-farm conservation, food systems, and nutrition. He coordinates CIAT’s growing area of Sustainable Food Systems research in Asia and is A4NH’s focal point for work in Vietnam. Stef’s current areas of research include seed systems, farmer agrobiodiversity use, food and nutrition security, and food system transitions. He previously worked with the Dutch development cooperation and the International Potato Center in Peru. A Dutch national, he holds a PhD in Biosystematics and MSc. in Agroecology from Wageningen University.

Fiona Lynn, Panelist, is the Director of the Agricultural Development and Food Security Section in the Australian Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade. As Director, Fiona oversees a number of the Department’s agricultural aid investment programs including programs which support partnerships between the private and public sectors with the aim of increasing income and employment opportunities for small holder farmers. Prior to joining the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, she worked in water management in Australia and as a development socio-economist in a number of countries in Asia and the Pacific.

Daniel Mason-d’Croz, Presenter, is a Senior Research Scientist with CSIRO. He previously worked at IFPRI on Partial Equilibrium Modeling and Scenario Analysis around issues of climate change and food security. He has also assisted with research at the US International Trade Commission around obstacles to SMEs accessing export markets. At the University of Nebraska, he contributed to work attempting to assess the impacts of biofuels on food availability and prices. Mason-d’Croz is a graduate of Johns Hopkins School of Advance International Studies and the University of Nebraska’s Raikes School of Computer Science and Business Management.

John McDermott, Chair, has been the Director of the CGIAR Research Program on Agriculture for Nutrition and Health (A4NH), which is led by the International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI), since 2011. Previously, he was deputy director general and director of research at the International Livestock Research Institute. As a researcher, McDermott’s career has focused on public health, animal health, and livestock research in developing countries, primarily in Africa. He has led projects on zoonotic and emerging diseases in Asia and Africa, and has a strong background in quantitative methods, including modeling, study design, and statistics. He has authored or co-authored more than 200 peer-reviewed publications, book chapters and conference papers, and advised more than 30 post-graduate students, including 20 PhD graduates, and served as an advisor to FAO, WHO, OIE, and other international agencies. McDermott has played a pivotal role in research for development innovations, including the establishment of the Biosciences East and Central Africa hub and the Global Alliance for Livestock Veterinary Medicines.

Phuong Hong Nguyen, Panelist, is a Research Fellow in the Poverty, Health, and Nutrition Division at IFPRI, based in Hanoi, Vietnam. Her research interests are in the area of maternal and child health and nutrition. She is involved in the Measurement, Learning and Evaluation component of Alive & Thrive, a multi-year initiative funded by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation to promote optimal infant and young child feeding practices in several countries. In this capacity, she manages the Vietnam- and Bangladesh-based evaluation activities, including cluster-randomized impact evaluation, mixed-method process evaluation and costing research. Currently Phuong is a team leader of the Data and Evidence to Support Policy Implementation component for POSHAN II - Partnerships and Opportunities to Strengthen and Harmonize Actions for Nutrition. She is also leading the evaluation for Maternal Nutrition Interventions in Bangladesh and India. She received her MD from Thai Nguyen Medical School in Vietnam and her PhD in Nutrition and Health Sciences from Emory University. Before joining IFPRI in 2009 she worked as an obstetrician for over 12 years in Vietnam.

Ruerd Ruben, Presenter, is Professor of Impact Assessment for Food Systems at University of Wageningen and Policy Advisor for Sustainable Development at Wageningen Economic Research. His research concerns the prospects for smallholder participation in tropical food value chains, the effectiveness of rural cooperative organizations and the impact of fair trade certification in value chains. Ruerd lived and worked for 14 years in Central America, where he was engaged in programs of land reform, cooperative development and smallholder agriculture. He later coordinated multidisciplinary research and training programs at Wageningen University on food security and sustainable land use in several sub-Saharan countries and was a visiting research fellow at IFPRI in Washington, DC. He has also served as the director of the independent Policy and Operations Evaluation (IOB) department at the Netherlands Ministry of Foreign Affairs and professor in Development Effectiveness and Director of the Centre for International Development Issues (CIDIN) at Radboud University Nijmegen.

Paul Teng, Panelist, is Managing Director and Dean at the National Institute of Education and Adjunct Senior Fellow at the RSIS Centre for Non-Traditional Security Studies at Nanyang Technological University in Singapore. He received his PhD from the University of Canterbury, New Zealand and did post-doctoral work at the Agricultural University, Wageningen, The Netherlands under a Visiting Fellowship awarded by the Netherlands Government and has attended many short courses on management development and science communication. Professor Teng has extensively researched the role of plant diseases in causing epidemics and crop losses in several continents, working cooperatively with a network of national programme scientists. His pioneering work on using system analysis and computer modelling techniques to quantify and predict biological phenomena, and conduct risk assessments, still has impact today in the US and Asian rice growing countries. More recently, he has researched science communication and science entrepreneurship, under the umbrella of “Innovation and Enterprise” and to meet the needs of new economies and is a regular invited speaker on agricultural biotechnology. Professor Teng has served on many national and international committees and is a Fellow of the Third World Academy of Sciences and the American Phytopathological Society.