VIRTUAL CONFERENCE of the Agriculture Nutrition and Health Academy

VIRTUAL CONFERENCE of the Agriculture Nutrition and Health Academy

30 June – 2 July 2020. The ANH Academy Week is a series of annual events that bring together the community of researchers and users of research (practitioners and policymakers) working at the intersection of agriculture, nutrition and health.

The objectives of the ANH Academy Week series is to foster knowledge exchange, innovation and learning around ANH research.

The ANH Academy Week consists of two interlinked components:

Extracts of the conference:

30 June 2020. Opening ceremony and keynote speech: Angus Deaton: Reflections on inequality, nutrition and health

Video recording forthcoming

Angus Deaton, winner of the 2015 Nobel Prize in Economics, is one of the world’s foremost experts on the economics of well-being, health, and poverty. Distinguished for the groundbreaking use of household data analysis to establish links between individual human behaviors and societal outcomes, his work relies on real-world facts to inform big-picture economic thinking.

1 July 2020. Plenary discussion: Agriculture, nutrition and health in the time of COVID-19: Challenges and priorities for research and practice

The COVID-19 pandemic poses significant implications for food systems, malnutrition and health. This interactive ANH2020 discussion explores key challenges and priorities for research and practice, focusing on:

  • Research and data needs: During and after the pandemic
  • Conducting research in crises: Practical and ethical considerations
  • Disruptions to multi-sectoral programmes: Management, tracking and mitigation
  • Rapid policy prescriptions: Implications for research and practice


 In Uganda 76% of 147 businesses surveyed reported reducing their workforce because of the risks associated with COVID-19 and lockdown measures, with the agricultural sector being the most affected.11 Estimates suggest that if the pandemic conditions persist for six months, 3.8 million people in Uganda will lose their jobs temporarily, partly due to the shutdown of tourism and subsequent fall in hotel demand for foods like chicken and salads, while 600,000 are expected to lose their jobs permanently. (…) In May, a survey in Uganda suggested that 58% of micro-, 27.7% of small- and 8.3% of medium-sized businesses would have to close in the next three months if the situation did not improve.11 If these enterprises go out of business, vital linkages in food systems may be lost.  Policy Brief page 6 + 7

Speakers (video forthcoming)

  • Chair – Richard Horton The Lancet
    The concept of resilience is put into question. What would a resilient food system look like?
  • Gabrielle Berman – Ethics in Evidence Generation, UNICEF
  • Khadija Mitu – University of Chittagong, Bangladesh
  • Sara Menker – CEO and Co-Founder, Gro Intelligence”
    We will have in the future more distributed food supply chains. What does the research know about the demand side (consumers). What are the implications to the prize and distribution of food globally? The crisis has shown that our food system is not resilient.
  • Patrick Webb – Tufts University and Global Panel on Agriculture and Food Systems for Nutrition
    He presented the Global Panel. 2020. COVID-19: safeguarding food systems and promoting healthy diets. Policy Brief No. 14. London, UK: Global Panel on Agriculture and Food Systems for Nutrition. 
    I feel that any intervention set needs to pay attention to buffering and sustaining the many non-formal actors in food chains, including micro- and SMEs. That involves quick loans, debt relief, information, etc. Nothing new, but essential.

    I believe all nations need to be more self-critical of their food trade policies (whether aimed at openness (Thailand) or closeness
    (Democratic People’s Republic of Korea). Trade policies need to be considered as ‘novel’ instruments that can support (or hinder) effective access to healthy diets locally.  So, let’s avoid mantras and absolutes and consider ‘how’ food markets can play better roles in nurturing people not just feeding them.

    We’re poorly equipped, let alone ready, to enhance resilience of food systems in the context of a climate crisis (what has not gone away).  Much to be done.

    1 July 2020. Food environments and markets: A
    1 July 2020. Food environments and markets: B
    1 July 2020. Innovative approaches: A
    1 July 2020. Innovative approaches: B

    RCTs are increasingly used to evaluate the effectiveness of agriculture, nutrition, and health (ANH) interventions in low- and middle-income countries. ANH trials are fundamentally different from trials to evaluate the efficacy of medical interventions.

    2 July 2020. Animal source foods

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