WEBINAR: Sharing experiences between Asia, Africa and the Near East: Harnessing local agriculture production system for healthy diets

31 March 2021. Poor diets are the main contributor to the global burden of disease, accounting for 20 percent of premature disease-mediated mortality. Approximately 3 billion people cannot afford a healthy diet, and more than 3 billion people suffer one or more manifestations of poor nutrition. A healthy diet is the foundation for good nutrition, human health and well-being. Profound changes needed in production systems and consumption patterns to combat nutrition problems and ensure that healthy diets are available, affordable and accessible for all.

Transformation of agriculture production system will require science-based solutions to support decisive and effective policies, well-targeted investment and use of science to guide practice. Agriculture production that supports and promotes healthy diets, will need a multi-level, multi-actor, multisector and multidisciplinary approach that brings agriculture, environment, natural resources, food, health, trade, economics, rural development agenda together.

FAO Regional Offices for Near East and North Africa (RNE), Asia and the Pacific (RAP) and Africa (RAF) is jointly organizing a special virtual event on “Sharing experiences between Asia, Africa and the Near East: Harnessing local agriculture production system for healthy diets”.

The meeting will take place virtually on  and it is expected to have eminent speakers representing science and research communities, high level global and regional representatives of inter-governmental bodies, senior government officials to share and learn on science-based solutions, innovation and technology, policies and investment to ensure access to affordable, safe and nutritious diets for all.

Opening remarks:

  • Mr Serge Nakouzi, Regional Representative a.i., FAO Regional Office for the Near East and North Africa (RNE) 

Keynote presentation:

  • Dr Mahmoud El Solh, Member of Steering Committee, High Level Panel of Experts on Food Security and Nutrition (HLPE), Committee on World Food Security (Former Director-General, ICARDA)
    • Harnessing the benefits of diversified agri-food system for healthy diets

Invited speakers:

  • Dr Shakuntala Thilsted, Global Lead, Nutrition and Public Health, WorldFish (Member of Steering Committee, HLPE, CFS; Vice Chair, UN Food System Summit 2021: Action Track 4:Advance Equitable Livelihoods)
  • Dr Yemi Akinbamijo, CEO, Forum for Agricultural Research in Africa (FARA)
  • Prof. Kadambot Siddique, Hackett Professor of Agriculture, Chair and Director, University of Western Australia (FAO Special Ambassador on International Year of Pulses)
  • Dr Aly Abousabaa, Director-General, ICARDA


  • Dr Ismahane Elouafi, Chief Scientist, FAO


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