IDRC’s Towards a Food Secure Future

3-4 October 2018. Ottawa, Canada. Towards a Food Secure Future. This event was live streamed and posted on IDRC’s YouTube channel and GAC’s YouTube channel and Facebook page.

Session 1: Sustainable agricultural production
Sustainable intensification, which focuses on increasing productivity per unit area, plays a central role in sustainable agricultural production. Innovations in this area must be socially acceptable, environmentally friendly, and economically affordable and viable, especially for smallholder farmers with limited resources. This session features stories of success and impact and explores pathways and constraints for the wide-scale adoption of innovations that improve sustainable agricultural production.

Facilitator: Innocent Butare, CIFSRF Senior program specialist, IDRC
CIFSRF projects:

  • Roshan Pudaisani, former Principal investigator (Nepal, Sustainable Agriculture Kits)
  • Alfred Kojo Yeboah, former Project coordinator (Ghana, ICT extension services)
  • David Wallace, former Principal investigator (South Africa, livestock vaccine)

Panel experts:

  • Isabelle Vandeplas, Program development officer, CECI
  • Etienne Hainzelin, President’s advisor, CIRAD

Session 2: Nutrition and health outcomes

A sustainable shift towards nutrition-sensitive agriculture and food systems promotes healthy diets and contributes to tackling the intergenerational cycle of malnutrition among children, adolescent girls, and women. CIFSRF projects used multiple pathways to scale up nutrition impacts. This session will highlight the research findings and development outcomes from these projects, and it will identify lessons and applications that facilitate the consumption of nutritious foods among women, girls, and young children. 

Facilitator: Annie Wesley, CIFSRF Senior program specialist, IDRC
CIFSRF projects:

  • Sue Horton, former Principal investigator (Tanzania, fortified oil)
  • Nguyen Do Huy, former Principal investigator (Vietnam, food processing)
  • Teresa Mosquera, former Principal investigator (Colombia, potatoes)

Panel experts:

  • Paula Tenaglia, Director of Operations, Action Against Hunger
  • Lynnette Neufeld, Director, Knowledge Leadership, Global Alliance for Improved Nutrition
  • Colleen Emary, Technical Advisor, Health and Nutrition, World Vision International

Session 3: Market access and income for small scale farmers

Access to markets is central to the development of value chains and for meeting the needs of global food security. Market access can also improve incomes and create opportunities for rural employment. Agriculture-related innovations need to involve economically viable business models based on value chains in order to achieve impact at scale. This session will present three business models that were piloted and scaled up to enhance nutrition and boost incomes in Africa and Asia. 

Facilitator: Marwan Owaygen, Senior program specialist, IDRC
CIFSRF projects:

  • Gregor Reid, former Principal investigator (Africa, fermented foods)
  • Karthikeyan Muniappan, former Principal investigator (India, small millets)
  • Clement Adeebooye, former Principal investigator (West Africa, fertilizer micro-dosing)

Panel experts:

  • Anne Mbaabu, Director, Market access program, AGRA
  • Gifty Blekpe, Women’s empowerment program coordinator, CARE Ghana
  • Nikita Ericksen-Hamel, Deputy Director- Policy and Practice, Global Affairs Canada

Session 4: Collaborative partnerships

Funding, supporting, and conducting multi-sectoral and multidisciplinary development research demands strong partnerships that address the complexities and challenges of food security and nutrition while operating within specific economic, political, cultural, and social structures. This session will explore the challenges and key ingredients to successful collaborative partnerships for development from a range of research disciplines and sectors in the South and North.

Facilitator: Wendy Manchur, CIFSRF program officer, IDRC
CIFSRF projects:

  • Hortense Atta Diallo, former Principal investigator (Ivory Coast, coconut)
  • Andrew Potter, former Principal investigator (Kenya, CBPP vaccine) 
  • Jayasankar Subramanian, former Principal investigator (India, Kenya, Sri Lanka, Tanzania, Trinidad and Tobajo, nanotechnology)

Panel experts:

  • Anne Gaboury, President and CEO, Développement international Desjardins
  • Ignacia Fernandez, Executive director, RIMISP

Session 5: Scaling up innovations for impact

Scaling up promising innovations in the food and agriculture sector has become an important strategy to generate greater benefits from investments, particularly to reach large numbers of people across geographical spaces. This session will discuss the various scaling up approaches and pathways CIFSRF undertook that led to the adoption of proven innovations. This session will explore the key enabling factors and constraints that support or limit the scaling up of innovations and the remaining gaps will be discussed. 

Facilitator: Marco Rondon, Senior program specialist, IDRC

CIFSRF projects:

  • Pierre Akponikpe, former Principal investigator (West Africa, fertilizer micro-dosing)
  • Meena Jadhav, former State Program Manager (India, double fortified salt)
  • Andrew Msolla, former Principal investigator (Tanzania, legumes)

Panel experts:

  • Richard Kohl, Strategy and scale expert, CLSS
  • Seerp Wigboldus, Senior Advisor and Researcher , Wageningen University Centre for Development Innovation

Session 6: Gender equality in agriculture and food security
Gender equality and the empowerment of women is critical to the achievement of food and nutrition security. In the least developed countries, 79% of women identify agriculture as their primary source of income, yet women in the agricultural sector lack access and control over assets. Addressing these gender barriers and the underlying social and gender norms that contribute to them can encourage the empowerment of women, increase productivity, and improve food and nutrition security for all. This session will explore key lessons learned by CIFSRF on gender integration and achieving gender equality outcomes.

Facilitator: Jemimah Njuk, Senior program specialist, IDRC

CIFSRF projects:

  • Ramona Ridolfi, Gender expert (Cambodia, homestead food production) 
  • Carol Henry, former Principal investigator (Ethiopia, pulses) 
  • Veronica Hinojosa, Gender expert (Bolivia, Fish for Food)

Panel experts:

  • Franz Wong, Senior advisor, KIT Royal Tropical Institute
  • Sonia Laszlo, Director of the Institute for the Study of International Development, McGill University
  • Sophia Huyer, Gender and social inclusion research leader, CGIAR

28 September 2018. The Government of Canada, through IDRC and Global Affairs Canada, has released a comprehensive report (116 pages) highlighting the lasting impact of its nine-year, CA$124.5 million Canadian International Food Security Research Fund (CIFSRF).

  • The report represents the collective efforts of the many people who dedicated their time and expertise to the CIFSRF initiative. 
  • This includes the farmers and community members at the forefront of the effort to validate and test food security innovations, the international research teams driving these innovations, and the development specialists who secured the necessary financial resources and partnerships to bring these projects to life. 
  • Together, they worked to develop and scale up innovations to increase production, access to, and consumption of safe and nutritious food.
  • Canada created CIFSRF nine years ago to push the boundaries of research and development funding by supporting practical innovations that directly improve the lives of the poor and food insecure. 
  • CIFSRF used competitive calls to identify and select the best research ideas from strong and capable teams. Nearly a decade later, the results are clear: a wide-ranging portfolio of innovative and successful projects that have changed millions of lives for the better.

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