Platform for African – European Partnership in Agricultural Research for Development

Sunday, July 11, 2021

Launch of the State of Food Security and Nutrition in the World 2021

The State of Food Security and Nutrition in the World 2021 (SOFI 2021) report presents the first evidence-based global assessment of chronic food insecurity in the year the COVID-19 pandemic emerged and spread across the globe.

The SOFI 2021 report also focused on complementary food system solutions that address the key drivers of food insecurity and malnutrition, i.e. conflict, climate variability and extremes, economic slowdowns and downturns, and COVID-19, and that ensure access to affordable healthy diets for all. It will look in-depth at six transformative pathways to achieve this, drawing upon best practices and lessons learned from around the world.

The report was presented by the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, the International Fund for Agricultural Development, the United Nations Children's Fund, the World Food Programme and the World Health Organization.
  • Moderator: Lana Wong 
  • Video (3’) Munir Akram, Host and President of the United Nations Economic and Social Council 
  • QU Dongyu, Director-General, FAO 
  • Henrietta H. Fore, Executive Director, UNICEF 
  • David Beasley, Executive Director, WFP 
  • Zsuzsanna Jakab, Deputy Director-General, WHO 
  • Dominik Ziller, Vice-President, IFAD 
  • Agnes Kalibata, Special Envoy of the UN Secretary-General for the 2021 UN Food Systems Summit Máximo Torero Cullen, FAO Chief-Economist



The State of Food Security and Nutrition in the World
2021.Transforming food systems for food security, improved nutrition and affordable healthy diets for all.
Rome, FAO 240 p.
In recent years, several major drivers have put the world off track to ending world hunger and malnutrition in all its forms by 2030. The challenges have grown with the COVID-19 pandemic and related containment measures. This report presents the first global assessment of food insecurity and malnutrition for 2020 and offers some indication of what hunger might look like by 2030 in a scenario further complicated by the enduring effects of the COVID-19 pandemic. It also includes new estimates of the cost and affordability of healthy diets, which provide an important link between the food security and nutrition indicators and the analysis of their trends. Altogether, the report highlights the need for a deeper reflection on how to better address the global food security and nutrition situation.

Global hunger increased under the shadow of the COVID-19 pandemic - Between 720 and 811 million people faced hunger in 2020 – as many as 161million more than in 2019. 
The pandemic heightened the challenge of eradicating hunger - More than 650 million may still be facing hunger in 2030, including tens of millions linked to possible lasting effects of the pandemic. 
Nearly 2.4 billion people in the world lacked access to adequate food in 2020 - The increase in moderate or severe food insecurity in 2020 equalled that of the previous five years combined. 
Healthy diets are out of reach for around 3 billion people - The increased cost of healthy diets and high levels of income inequality put healthy diets further out of reach in Africa and in Latin America and the Caribbean. 
The world is not on track to achieve global nutrition targets - Some progress has been made, but the effects of the pandemic on nutrition will cause setbacks. 

In terms of population, it is estimated that between 720 and 811 million people in the world faced hunger in 2020. Considering the middle of the projected range (768 million), 118 million more people were facing hunger in 2020 than in 2019, with estimates ranging from 70 to 161 million. Close to 12 percent of the global population was severely food insecure in 2020, representing 928 million people – 148 million more than in 2019. Globally, malnutrition in all its forms also remains a challenge. Although, it is not yet possible to fully account for the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic due to data limitations, in 2020 it is estimated that 22.0 percent (149.2 million) of children under 5 years of age were affected by stunting, 6.7 percent (45.4 million) were suffering from wasting and 5.7 percent (38.9 million) were overweight. 

To understand how hunger and malnutrition have reached these critical levels, this report draws on the analyses of the past four editions, which have produced a vast, evidence-based body of knowledge of the major drivers behind the recent changes in food security and nutrition. These drivers, which are increasing in frequency and intensity, include conflicts, climate variability and extremes, and economic slowdowns and downturns – all exacerbated by the underlying causes of poverty and very high and persistent levels of inequality. In addition, millions of people around the world suffer from food insecurity and different forms of malnutrition because they cannot afford the cost of healthy diets. From a synthesized understanding of this knowledge, updates and additional analyses are generated to create a holistic view of the combined effects of these drivers, both on each other and on food systems, and how they negatively affect food security and nutrition around the world.

Saturday, July 10, 2021

REPORT + WEBINAR: Indigenous Peoples’ contributions to food system’s thinking and sustainability

FAO (2021) Side event to the Science Days for the UN Food Systems The White/Wiphala Paper on Indigenous Peoples' food systems 143 p.

This White/Wiphala paper on Indigenous Peoples’ food systems is the result of collective work by Indigenous Peoples’ representatives and experts, scientists, researchers, and UN staff. Over 47 different units, organizations, and institutions have contributed to the Paper from the seven socio-cultural regions. This final version of the White/Wiphala paper has been coordinated by the Global-Hub on Indigenous Peoples’ Food Systems and edited by a Technical Editorial Committee, and summarises the main points received.

This Paper advocates that lessons can be learnt from Indigenous Peoples’ approach to food, which will contribute to the resilience and sustainability of food systems worldwide, as well as supporting the wellbeing of Indigenous Peoples. In this vein, this Paper provides evidence on the sustainability of Indigenous Peoples’ food systems, including the ways in which they have proven resilient over time. The Paper articulates the importance of respecting Indigenous Peoples’ rights to ensure the preservation of their foods systems, and the value this can add to tackling emerging challenges that face mankind.

Convened by The Global-Hub on Indigenous Peoples’ Food Systems, the Alliance of Bioversity International and the International Center for Tropical Agriculture (CIAT), Center for International Forestry Research and World Agroforestry (CIFOR-ICRAF), French National Research Institute for Sustainable Development (IRD), United Nations Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues (UNPFII), Asia Indigenous Peoples Pact (AIPP), United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), United Nations Organization for Education, Science and Culture (UNESCO); Indigenous Partnership for Agrobiodiversity and Food Sovereignty (TIP), Sámi Parliament, Gaia Amazonas, Fund for the Development of the Indigenous Peoples of Latin America and the Caribbean (FILAC), Centre for Sustainable Development and Environment (Cenesta), INFOODS, University of Massey, Monash University, University of Cambridge, University of Greenwich Centre for Indigenous Peoples’ Nutrition and Environment: CINE McGill University.

16 June 2021. #EDD21- BRAINSTORMING LAB - Indigenous Peoples’ Food Systems

Indigenous Peoples are responsible for the protection of 80% of the world's remaining biodiversity. However, the role of Indigenous Peoples’ Food Systems and territorial management practices as key elements to preserve biodiversity while generating food in sustainable ways is not well recognized yet. Since 2009, FAO is working with Indigenous Peoples and research centres to generate evidence-based information on the sustainable, nutrition and resilient elements of Indigenous Peoples’ Food Systems. 

Despite having prevailed for thousands of years, Indigenous Peoples’ food systems are affected by climate change, extractive industries, intensive livestock, agriculture production, and land-use changes. This session aimed at generating an exchange of knowledge on how to preserve Indigenous Peoples’ Food systems and recognizing their contribution to the global debate on sustainable food systems and climate change. 

Phrang ROY The Indigenous Partnership Coordinator 
Anandi SOANS, FAO Indigenous Youth Specialist 
Anne BRUNEL, FAO, Indigenous Peoples' Food Systems Specialist 
Moderator: Yon FERNÁNDEZ DE LARRINOA, Chief, FAO Indigenous Peoples Unit 

The European Development Days (EDD) are the EU’s leading forum on international partnerships and a key fixture for the sustainable development community. For more information, go to

#EDD21 - BRAINSTORMING RESULTS: Indigenous Peoples’ Food Systems

REPORT + WEBINAR: Priorities for inclusive urban food system transformations in the global South

CIRAD (2021)  Priorities for inclusive urban food system transformations in the global South. 23 pp.

The supply of food in cities in low-income countries is mainly ensured by small-scale production and retail, which have proved effective in feeding cities cheaply. Far from being unorganised, this system is structured by a succession of complementary actors and spaces (producers, collectors, wholesalers, retailers as well as small transport, storage and processing companies). What’s more, micro-, small- and medium-sized enterprises innovate to meet new consumer demand for quality, particularly in terms of health and safety cleanliness. These businesses are generally presented in opposition to large-scale agribusinesses considered "modern" and efficient.

Therefore, the authors of the brief developed six types of urban food systems specific to cities in the South. From their characteristics, they draw five levers for action that could help strengthen the capacity of cities to adapt to their growing populations, emphasising in particular energy- and capital-efficient initiatives.

6 July 2021. Side event to the Science Days for the UN Food Systems Summit. Priorities for inclusive urban food systems transformations in the global South

The side event, in collaboration with the RUAF Global Partnership on Sustainable Urban Agriculture and Food Systems, Michigan State University, National centre for scientific and technological research Burkina Faso and the Unesco Chair on World Food Systems will bring together academics and operators working on urban food systems in Asia, Africa and Latin America.
  • Introduction: Dao The Anh, vice-president of Vietnam Academy of Agricultural Science, co-author of the research brief, facilitator of the event
  • Accounting for the diversity of urban food systems: Patrick Caron, Cirad, University of Montpellier, former president of HLPE-CFS, co-author of the research brief
  • The role of MSMEs in inclusive urban food system transformations: Paule Moustier, Cirad, Head of MoISA, first author of the research brief
  • Synergies between SMEs, supermarkets and e-commerce in low and middle income countries: Professor Thomas Reardon, Michigan State University
  • Inclusive innovations to meet urban food consumer demand in Burkina Faso: Charlotte Yaméogo, Institut de recherche en sciences appliquées et technologies, Ouagadougou
  • Collaboration between Quito municipality and farmer groups for an inclusive food system: Alexandra Rodriguez, responsible for the Participatory Urban Agriculture Project, Quito municipality

Friday, July 9, 2021

UN Food Systems Summit Science Days

8-9 July 2021
. In preparation of the UNFSS and drawing on the Action Tracks and various dialogues, the Scientific Group organised the “Science Days for the UN Food Systems Summit 2021”, facilitated and hosted by FAO.

Presentations and additional recording will be made available on 


In September 2021, the UN Secretary-General will convene a UN Food Systems Summit (UNFSS) as part of the Decade of Action to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) by 2030. Harnessing science, technology and innovation is key to meeting the aspiration of sustainable, inclusive and resilient food systems. Thus, in support of a science- and evidence-based Summit, the UN established a Scientific Group for the UN Food Systems Summit to ensure the robustness, breadth and independence of the science that underpins the Summit and its outcomes.


The Science Days was organized as two half-day virtual events, in combination with side events. Plenary and parallel sessions covered key topics such as:

Plenary 1 (08/07): Unlocking the potential of science and innovation for transformation of food systems

This session set the stage for Science Days, and will focus on the role of STI in transforming foodsystems, on the evolving state of the art of STI, on how to unlock the potential of STI, and on setting the agenda for science to accelerate the transformation of food systems to contribute to achieving the SDGs, especially SDG2.

– Recording of the session
  • Moderator: Magdalena Skipper, Editor in chief, NATURE
  • QU Dongyu, Director-General, United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO)
  • Amina J. Mohammed, UN Deputy Secretary-General and Moderator of the Summit Advisory Committee
  • Agnes Kalibata, UN SG’s Special Envoy for the 2021 Food Systems Summit
  • Joachim von Braun, Chair, Scientific Group of the UN Food Systems Summit 2021 – Introducing a strategic paper from the Scientific Group

Parallel Sessions 08/07: SCIENCE AS ACTION: SCIENCE-BASED OPTIONS TO ACHIEVE more healthy diets and more inclusive, SUSTAINABLE, AND resilient food systems

  1. Achieving more healthy diets in food systems – STI for affordable and accessible nutritious foods for healthy diets
  2. Achieving more inclusive food systems – STI for eliminating hunger and poverty and for advancing equitable livelihoods
  3. Achieving more sustainable and resilient food systems – STI for making sustainable use of natural resources and managing and preventing risks and crises, incl. climate change and COVID-19


  1. Strengthening the science-policy interface across disciplines and policy areas incl. economics, and health-, nutrition-, climate-, ecological-sciences
  2. Investing in institutional and human capacity for science and innovation
  3. Capitalizing on models, data, and communications revolutions, and new methods

Plenary 2 (08/07): Getting to grips with contentious issues related to science, technology and innovations for food systems

This session explored causes of important lingering and emerging food systems related science controversies, as well as missed opportunities in STI for food systems transformation, and discuss the role of research to address such controversies and move beyond polarization.

 – Recording of the session
  • Moderator: Anne Mullen, Chief Editor, Nature Food
  • Ertharin Cousin, Founder and CEO, Food Systems for the Future
  • Urs Niggli, Honorary professor, Kassel University
  • Shakuntala Thilsted, Global Lead, Nutrition and Public Health, WorldFish, and 2021 World Food Prize Laureate
  • David Zilberman, Professor, Department of Agricultural and Resource Economics, University of California at Berkeley

Plenary 3 (09/07): Opportunities, trade-offs and synergies.

This session drew upon global foresight models and scenario exercises, looked ahead to the world in 2030 – what will it take to achieve the SDGs especially SGD2 and how much will it cost; what do different scenarios offer under differing conditions/ assumption; what are the key trade-offs and synergies to look out for; what are the key opportunities to tap.

Recording of the session
  • Moderator: Maximo Torero, Chief Economist, FAO
  • Thomas Hertel, Professor of Agricultural Economics, Purdue University
  • Elizabeth Mkandawire, FSNet-Africa Network and Research Manager, University of Pretoria
  • Josefa Sacko, Commissioner for Rural Economy and Agriculture
  • Jean Eric Paquet, Director-General, DG Research and Innovation, European Commission
As a tangible contribution to the UNFSS, the European Commission has established a High Level Expert Group that will work over an 18-month period to explore the needs, gaps and options to strengthen the international Science Policy Interface(s) for improved food systems governance. 

Opinion: The EC High Level Expert Group recommendations are somewhat misleading because they don’t acknowledge the existence of the HLPE, which already fulfills almost all of the needed functions.  The recommendation to “urgently establish enhanced SPI mechanisms post-Summit” is likely to fragment scientific input to policy.  It seems clear that strengthening the HLPE is the best option for moving forward. (Molly Anderson IPES)


  1. Empowering and engaging the youth as key players in food systems innovation
  2. Empowering and engaging traditional and indigenous knowledge holders as key players in food systems innovation
  3. Science in and by food industry and start-ups for food systems innovation
  4. Empowering and engaging women as key players in food systems innovation


  1. Pushing the frontiers of science for food systems: Bio-science innovations
  2. Pushing the frontiers of science for food systems: Digital innovations
  3. Pushing the frontiers of science for food systems: Policy and institutional innovations


This session closed the Science Days with reflections on the long-term (beyond 2030) issues,opportunities, and challenges for science, technology and innovation, with special consideration given to ethical issues, nutritional issues, equity issues, rights and justice issues, culture issues, demographics, risk management issues, and international scientific cooperation.
  • Moderator: Thin Lei Win, Food & Climate Correspondent, Thin Ink
  • Louise Fresco, President of the Executive Board, Wageningen University & Research
    "The big challenge [regarding sustainability] is to improve the use of ressources in FoodSystems. (...) Resource-use-efficiency is not very known in the public, but it will be very important."
  • Peter Bakker, President & CEO, World Business Council for Sustainable Development (WBCSD) and Member of the Advisory Committee to the UN Food Systems Summit 2021
    "Science is crucial for the success of the food systems summit. Therefore, we need a clear scientific framework".
    "Sustainability means to  
  • Johan Swinnen, Director General, IFPRI
    "A number of agricultural subsidies should be repurposed to research"
  • Ismahane Elouafi, Chief Scientist, FAO
  • Joachim von Braun Closing remarks and way forward
The HLPE fully supports the need to enhance science-policy interface, and will continue to play this role and would welcome a more ambitious roadmap.
  • The Devex Op-ed by Thanawat Tiensin (CFS Chair), Martin Cole (Chairperson of the HLPE Steering Committee), and Jennifer Clapp (HLPE Steering Committee member): 
  • The open letter by the HLPE Steering Committee on why the UN Food Systems Summit should build on the already existing science-policy interface for food security and nutrition, the CFS-HLPE

REPORT: Agricultural Policy Monitoring and Evaluation 2021

Agricultural Policy Monitoring and Evaluation 2021

This new report on the support governments provide to the agriculture sector, demonstrates how over the period 2018-2020, 54 countries provided on average USD 720 billion of support to agriculture annually. Just 6% of all budgetary transfers to the sector, or USD 26 billion per year, was spent on agricultural innovation systems, despite their high social returns. 

In contrast, half of support to agriculture is market distorting, inequitable and harmful to both the environment and global food security. Agricultural policies are not contributing to meeting the “triple challenge” facing global food systems of providing safe, nutritious food to a growing world population, providing livelihoods along the food chain, and improving sustainability, by protecting natural resources such as land, water and biodiversity, and reducing greenhouse gas emissions.

Making Better Policies for Food Systems requires the following reforms:

  • Phasing out price interventions and market distorting producer support.
  • Targeting income support to farm households most in need, and where possible incorporate such support into economy-wide social policies and safety-nets.
  • Re-orienting public expenditures towards investments in public goods – in particular innovation systems.

Wednesday, July 7, 2021

WEBINAR: Post-COVID 19 Implications on Genetic Diversit

7 July 2021. Side event to the Science Days for the UN Food Systems Summit. Post-COVID 19 Implications on Genetic Diversity and Genomics Research & Innovation: A Call for Governance and Research Capacity

This event presented the findings of an independent, multi-disciplinary group of scientists who, at a time of significant technological change and digitization in the biological sciences, and in the aftermath of COVID-19, have discussed ways to enable data mobilization and build fairness in the research collaboration and innovation ecosystem. 

The group focused on new professional capacity to govern research and innovation at the meso-level to improve integration of macro-level policy and micro-level actions. As twin capacities, governance and research can reduce power differentials among diverse actors and support crisis-based imperatives for data openness. The group will also discuss how this holistic approach to capacity could build an evidence-based assessment of governance outcomes and improve the science-policy interface.


  • Daniele Manzella, Secretariat of the International Treaty on Plant Genetic Resources for Food and Agriculture, FAO 
  • Sélim Louafi, Cirad, France 
  • Eric Welch, CSTEPS, ASU, USA 
  • Ndjido A. Kane, CERAAS, Senegal 
  • Elijane Ubalijoro, Future Earth, Global Hub Director, Canada; Executive Director, Sustainability in the Digital Age, Canada
  • Catacora-Vargas, Bolivia 
  • David Castle, Univ of Victoria, Canada Georgina 
  • Darrell Sexstone, INTPA, EU Commission, Policy Officer for Agriculture Biodiversity, genetic resources and seed systems, Based in: Gambia


White Paper: Post COVID-19 Implications for Genetic Diversity and Genomics Research & Innovation: A Call for Governance and Research Capacity

Welch, E., et all (2021) Post COVID-19 Implications on Genetic Diversity and Genomics Research & Innovation: A Call for Governance and Research Capacity. 37 p.

CSTEPS co-led research and development of a new white paper titled Post COVID-19 Implications for Genetic Diversity and Genomics Research &Innovation: A Call for Governance and Research Capacity. This white paper emerged from an independent expert consultation commissioned by the Secretariat of International Treaty on Plant Genetic Resources for Food and Agriculture at the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) of the United Nations, with support from the Government of Italy.

The purpose of the consultation was to identify the lasting impacts and the institutional and policy implications of COVID-19 for genetic diversity and genomic research and innovation, with a special focus on open access, global equity and science capacity. The Center for Science, Technology and Environmental Policy Studies at Arizona State University, the French Agricultural Research Centre for International Development (CIRAD) and Keystone Policy Center convened, led and facilitated the consultation.

You can read the entire white paper here.

WEBINAR: Scaling Up Innovations and Partnerships to Modernize African Food Systems

7 July 2021. Scaling Up Innovations and Partnerships to Modernize African Food Systems by TAAT; AATF; Alliance Bioversity-CIAT (ABC); AfricaRice; CIP; FARA; ICRISAT; IFDC; ILRI; IWMI; WorldFish Centre; IITA; ICARDA.

Organised by Technologies for African Agricultural Transformation (TAAT) in collaboration with the International Institute of Tropical Agriculture (IITA), The WorldFish Centre, International Crop Research Institute for the Semi-Arid Tropics (ICRISAT) and the Alliance of Bioversity International and CIAT, the side event aspires to provide vistas on TAAT’s efforts at transforming African food systems through technology delivery and innovative partnerships that drive food security, deliver better nutrition, reduce poverty, and strengthen food systems.

The pre-Science Days event sets out to examine the impact of scientific innovations and partnerships on food systems and how these can help African farmers build climate and food resilience across agro-ecological zones.

It will unveil opportunities for deepening technology delivery, linking various research innovations to impact delivery in Africa through a complementary convergence of science and technology, favourable policies, strong support institutions and services, and access to finance and markets.

Dr Nteranya Sanginga, DG IITA, will open the side event while Dr Martin Fregene, Director Agriculture and Agro-Industry at the African Development Bank, Dr Kenton Dashiell, Deputy Director General (Partnerships for Delivery) IITA, and Dr Ramadjita Tabo, ICRISAT’s Regional Director will be providing strategic insights.

Equally speaking at the event are Prof Bernadette Fregene, TAAT Aquaculture Leader, WorldFish Centre and Dr Robin Buruchara, Senior Advisor, The Pan Africa Bean Research Alliance (PABRA) of the Alliance of Bioversity International and CIAT.
  • Moderator: Dr Kwesi Atta-Krah
  • Dr. Martin Fregene, Director Agriculture and Agro-Industry AfDB
  • Dr. Kenton Dashiell, Deputy Director General (Partnerships for Delivery) IITA
  • Prof Bernadette Fregene, TAAT Aquaculture Leader, WorldFish Centre
  • Dr. Ramadjita Tabo, Research Program Director, ICRISAT
  • Dr. Robin Buruchara, Senior Advisor, The Pan Africa Bean Research Alliance (PABRA),
  • Alliance of Bioversity International and CIAT

Shared resources

WEBINAR: Critical Role of Research and Development in Achieving Resilient and Sustainable Food Systems.

7 July 2021. Side event to the Science Days for the UN Food Systems Summit.
 The Critical Role of Research and Development in Achieving Resilient and Sustainable Food Systems. by the US Agency for International Development; Regional Network of Agricultural Policy Research Institutes (ReNAPRI); African Development Bank (AfDB); Alliance for African Partnership; World Bank.

The discussion reviewed evidence of evolving economic transformation and progress towards resilience in sub-Saharan Africa from the Board for International Food and Agriculture Development (BIFAD)-commissioned Agricultural Productivity Growth, Resilience, and Economic Transformation in Sub-Saharan Africa report and the World Bank publication, Harvesting Prosperity: Technology and Productivity Growth in Agriculture

Together, panelists and participants identified lessons learned from countries in which substantial investments in adaptive agricultural research and development and extension systems have shown the catalytic role of productivity-led agricultural growth in contributing to employment, resilience, and economic transformation.
  • Richard Mkandawire Director, Africa Office, Alliance for African Partnership, Michigan State University & Chair, National Planning Commission Government of Malawi 
  • Lulama Ndibongo Traub Technical Director, Regional Network of Agricultural Policy Research Institutes in Africa (ReNAPRI
  • Kevin Chika Urama Senior Director, African Development Institute, AFDB Group 
  • Louise Fox Nonresident Senior Fellow, African Growth Initiative, Brookings Institution Madhur Gautam Lead Economist, Agriculture Global Pracitice The World bank 
  • Rob Bertram Chief Scientist, Bureau for Resilience and Food Security, United States Agency for International Development (USAID
  • Thom Jayne University Foundation Professor of Agricultural, Food, and Resource Economics, Michigan State University 
  • Usha Barwale Zehr Director and Chief Technology Officer, Mahyco Private Limited (MAHYCO), India and Executive Director, Grow Indigo Private Ltd 
  • Natasha Santos Vice President of Global Stakeholder Strategy and Affairs, Bayer Crop Science Wandile Sihlobo Chief Economist, AgBiz, South Africa

WEBINAR: Trade, an essential piece of the food systems puzzle

6 July 2021. Independent Dialogue UNFSS.
Trade, an essential piece of the food systems puzzle. by WTO.

This Global Dialogue on Trade was co-organised by the Special Envoy of the UN Food Systems Summit, Dr. Agnes Kalibata and the World Trade Organisation.

The Dialogue discussed how the trading system can best be reformed to address the food needs of tomorrow, and support sustainable development as called for by the Preamble to the Marrakesh Agreement establishing the WTO. 

  • International Trade in Food In Times of Crisis
  • Can the Reform of Agricultural Subsidies Contribute to Food System Transformation?
  • The WTO Agreement on Agriculture (AoA); The Way Forward
  • Trade Facilitation and the Cutting of Red Tape for Food System Transformation
  • Global Agricultural Value Chains
  • Realizing the Human Right to Food
  • Ensuring Sustainable Food Trade
  • Nutrition Security and International Trade
  • Food Security and International Trade
  • Food Safety and International Trade

WEBINAR: Food prices and food system transformation

7 July 2021 Side event to the Science Days for the UN Food Systems Summit.  True Cost and True Price of Food event.

This session elaborated on the true costs of the global food system, how true pricing can address those costs and the scientific challenges involved in doing so. 
  • how science can help governments and businesses in a True Pricing Science Network. 
  • how the value of food can be redefined and how in the long run true pricing mechanisms can ensure that affordable and healthy food is accessible to all while conserving the environment.
The session was based on the eponymous paper The true cost and true price of food (42 pp. A paper from the Scientific Group of the UN Food Systems Summit Draft 1 June 2021) which estimated the global true costs of food to be 30 trillion USD, and proposed TCA and true pricing as solutions to address those.

Members of the True Cost and True Price of Food working group of the Scientific Group are hosting this session and took the initiative to convene a True Pricing Science Network (as part of a partnership on the true price of food). This will further the basic and applied science progress needed to apply true pricing at scale by policy makers, businesses and consumers.
  • Opening remarks – Joachim von Braun
  • The true costs and true price of food – Sheryl Hendriks, Adrian de Groot Ruiz
  • Quantifying and valuing externalities: state of the art and key challenges – Mario Herrero, Pietro Galgani
  • Food-based poverty lines and safety nets for affordability of healthy diets – Elena Martinez
  • True Pricing policy mechanisms - Adrian de Groot Ruiz
  • Towards a True Pricing Science Network – Sheryl Hendriks 
The true cost and true price of food (42 pp. A paper from the Scientific Group of the UN Food Systems
Summit Draft 1 June 2021

The first step to correct for these ‘hidden costs’ is to redefine the value of food through True Cost Accounting (TCA) to address externalities and other market failures. TCA reveals the true value of food by making the benefits of affordable and healthy food visible and revealing the costs of damage to the environment and human health. The second corrective step is true pricing: incorporating externalities in prices to align market incentives with social values. Appropriate safety nets to boost consumer purchasing power and the enforcement of rights and regulations should also be part of true pricing to ensure that affordable and healthy food is accessible to all. Such actions will conserve the environment and simultaneously meet fundamental universal human rights and accelerate progress towards achieving development goals


This event addressed the economics of food system transformation. The focus was prices and markets, and how food supply interacts with demand under the influence of policies and programs, environmental change, and technological innovation. It linked economists in universities, governments, and civil society with practitioners in other disciplines and institutions to drive food system change.
  • Dr. Uma Lele, President of the International Association of Agricultural Economists
  • Dr. Guy Blaise Nkamleu, President of the African Association of Agricultural Economists
  • Dr. J.V. Meenakshi, Professor, Delhi School of Economics, University of Delhi, India
  • Dr. Daniel Sarpong, Associate Professor and Dean, School of Agriculture, University of Ghana
  • Dr. Anna Herforth, Co-Principal Investigator, Food Prices for Nutrition project at Tufts University
  • Dr. Will Masters, Professor, Tufts University and Principal Investigator, Food Prices for Nutrition project, USA
The Food Prices for Nutrition (FPN) project is a four-year, $3 million effort (Oct. 2020 – Sept. 2024) to equip governments and development agencies with accurate, updated metrics of diet costs and affordability around the world. This work is funded by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and UKAid from the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO) as INV-016158.

Shared resources:
Uma Lele, Manmohan Agarwal, Brian C. Baldwin, and Sambuddha Goswami (2021) 
Food for All. International Organizations and the Transformation of Agriculture 1,024 pp.
  • It is an open access book --free for all and discusses impacts of conflict on food insecurity-Book being released in August/September
  • This volume provides an analysis of the structure, coordination, and management of the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD), and the World Food Programme (WFP). 
  • It also looks at the World Bank, the largest international funder of policy advice and investment projects, and CGIAR, a leading funder of international agricultural research.
  • It provides a fresh perspective and innovative ideas on one of the most significant challenges faced by humanity in a time of climate and health emergencies
  • It presents a comprehensive analysis of the main global food and agricultural international organizations
  • It assesses the current state of food security in the context of trends over the last 50 years
17-31 August 2021. The Board of IAAE moved the
August 2021 International Conference of Agricultural Economists (ICAE) to a fully-online format. This extended period is to accommodate delegates from diverse time zones. Further announcements on the conference format will follow.

WEBINAR: Contractual relationships and contracting arrangements in the agrifood sector

7 July 2021.
Contractual relationships and contracting arrangements in the agrifood sector by COLEACP and the Foundation for World Agriculture and Rurality (FARM foundation)

See agenda

In commercial agriculture, contracts coordinate production and trade, linking input suppliers to producers, all the way to end buyers. A better understanding of these chains of contracts can enable development practitioners and policymakers to increase scope for rural producer agency. Experts from research, policy, finance and private sector discussed the various practices and the opportunities and challenges, the existing models present for smallholders and value chain actors involved in the agriculture and agrifood sector.

Lorenzo COTULA, Principal Researcher, International Institute for Environment and Development (IIED) - Contracts in commercial agriculture: enhancing rural producer agency
Lorenzo Cotula summarised his recent research analysing of a pool of 40 contracts, examining the extent to which producers have a voice in contracting and related policy processes; how contracts affect options for rural producers; whether buyers’ obligations create opportunities for farmers to exert agency; and how arrangements affect producers’ ability to respond to risk.

Policy is a key enabler in support of fairer contractual arrangements which benefit smallholders and support the entire value chain in the agricultural and agrifood sector. This includes supportive policies as well as innovative financing schemes and impact investment facilities providing medium to long-term financing to private sector enterprises. The panel included private sector operators across various value chains. 
  • Aude SAUVAGET, Investment Officer, EFDI AgriFI 
  • Marlène AMEGANKPOE, Director General, SCS International, Mali 
  • Jonathan MICHAUD, Managing Director, Kossam SDE, la Laiterie du Berger, Senegal

Background: EDFI-AGRIFI (Agriculture Financing Initiative)

The EDFI-AgriFi is a Facility of the EU which aim is to provide long-term finance and/or working capital needs in the form of debt or equity, on commercially-oriented terms, to MSMEs active in agri-food value chains and involving smallholder farmers in low and lower-middle income country, but with a focus in Sub-Saharan African countries.

Because it is fully financed by the EC with 39.7 M EUR, unlike the other blending projects, the “blending” is done at the investment level by mobilizing co-financing from European DFIs and other investors. This is also the reason why EDFI-AGRIFI provides more flexibility and allows to take higher risks than other DFIs and private investors on their own, thereby being able to invest in earlier stage projects/SMEs; provide smaller and or longer tenor loans; etc. With a ticket size ranging from 0.5 to 5 million Euros, EDFI-AgriFi therefore addresses the “missing middle” by investing in young and growing businesses that have a clear development impact and that need financing to grow but they are not big enough to obtain financing from local commercial bank or international investors

The contract was signed in December 2017 with the FMO (the Dutch DFI - for a duration of 15 years, who sub-delegated in turn the implementation of the Facility to the EDFI Management Company, an association of 15 European DFIs based in Brussels. It also includes 10 M EUR for Technical Assistance.

AgriFIs’ innovative high-impact smallholder financing provides an integrated approach towards smallholder service delivery models, which typically includes the full spectrum of training, pre-financing of inputs, marketing and value adding services. Over the last few years new initiatives have been started in this segment, taking advantage of mobile technology to lower transaction costs. Through these interventions, companies in AgriFI’s portfolio improve food security and support the creation of new jobs – an approach that directly contributes to the Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 1 (reducing poverty) and SDG 2 (fighting hunger).

WEBINAR: Is Organic Agriculture a viable option for the Global South?

7 July 2021. Is Organic Agriculture a viable option for the Global South? by RIOA; KALRO; icipe/Kenya; Biovision Africa Trust, Kenya

Debate is ongoing whether organic/agroecological approaches would be a realistic and innovative pathway for eliminating poverty and hunger and promoting responsible and inclusive healthier consumption and production in the Global South. Scientific evidence is barely available as such research usually focused on the North. 

Unique results of 12 years’ comparative on-station and on-farm research in Kenya, Ghana, Uganda, Bolivia, and India were presented, highlighting productivity, profitability, and sustainability benefits and trade-offs that organic systems and other agroecological approaches offer to society and the environment. The discussion reflected on policy recommendations towards selected SDG’s with a particular focus on smallholders.
  • Dr. Irene Kadzere (FiBL) - Benefits and drawbacks of organic agriculture for African small-holder farmers
  • Dr. Laura Armengot (FiBL) - Productivity and profitability of organic compared to conventional farming in Latin America and India
  • Joseph Bandana (University of Ghana) - Is organic cocoa farming in Africa sustainable? Insight from comparative research
  • Dr. Anne Muriuki (KALRO) - Mainstreaming organic at the national level through participatory research: Examples from ProEco and SysCom projects in Kenya
  • Dr. David Amudavi (Biovision Africa Trust) - Reflections on the research findings and knowledge management from EOAI perspective: policy implications and recommendations
  • David Bautze (FiBL)
Productivity, Profitability and Sustainability of Organic and Conventional Faming Systems in Sub-Saharan Africa: Comparative analyses (2013 – 2019)
  • The project "ProEcoAfrica" (2013 – 2017) generated comparative scientific evidence on the productivity and profitability of conventional and organic production systems in Ghana and Kenya with an emphasis on the gender dimension to farming. 
  • Since March 2016, the project "Organic Food Systems Africa (OFSA) (2016 – 2019)" which complements and builds onto ProEcoAfrica is being implemented to generate comparative scientific evidence on the sustainability of these production systems in Ghana, Kenya and Uganda.
RIOA (2021) What is the contribution of organic agriculture to sustainable development? A synthesis of twelve years (2007-2019) of the “long-term farming systems comparisons in the tropics (SysCom)”. Research Institute of Organic Agriculture, Frick, Switzerland, 40 pages

The results of 12 years of comparative farming systems research in Kenya, Bolivia, and India provide scientific evidence on economic and ecological sustainability of organic and conventional systems. They illustrate how organic systems and other agroecological approaches can contribute to the SDGs by 2030.

27 January 2021. Webinar Organic Agriculture - A realistic pathway? organized by FiBL and INTPA

27 May 2021. Open FiBL Day
This first digital Open FiBL Day showed how organic farming can contribute to climate change mitigation, what chickens have to do with organic apple growing in the future, if control with water markers really works or what FiBL’s contribution to sustainable cocoa production looks like.

WEBINAR: Regional perspectives on the role of science, technology and innovation for transforming food systems

7 July 2021WEBINAR: Regional perspectives on the role of science, technology and innovation for transforming food systems

See the Agenda

The InterAcademy Partnership (IAP) with its regional academy networks brings together evaluation from Africa, Asia, the Americas and Europe to compare scientific opportunities for delivering sustainable, healthy diets.

Presenters described recent assessments in briefs prepared for the United Nations Food Systems Summit (UN FSS), drawing on comprehensive previous analysis for IAP. The urgency to transform food systems is increased by the growing impacts of climate change and another recent crisis, such as COVID-19.

Strengthening research and its uptake as a resource for innovation and to inform practice must be accompanied by better use of the transdisciplinary science base to advise policy making, integrated locally, regionally and globally.
  • Technical remarks and agenda Peter McGrath, Coordinator, InterAcademy Partnership (IAP) 
  • Introduction to IAP and its project on Food and Nutrition Security and Agriculture Volker ter Meulen, Special Advisor, IAP; German National Academy of Sciences, Leopoldina 
  • The role of science, technology, and innovation for transforming food systems in Africa Sheryl Hendriks, Member, UN FSS Scientific Group; Professor Of Food Security, Department Of Agricultural Economics, Extension And Rural Development, University Of Pretoria, South Africa 
  • The role of science, technology, and innovation for transforming food systems in Latin America and the Caribbean Elizabeth Hodson de Jaramillo, Member, UN FSS Scientific Group; Emeritus Professor, Pontificia Universidad Javeriana, Colombia; Member, Colombian Academy Of Exact, Physical And Natural Sciences And Inter American Network Of Academies Of Sciences (IANAS) 
  • The role of science, technology, and innovation for transforming food systems in Asia Paul J. Moughan, Distinguished Professor, Riddet Institute, Massey University, Palmerston North, New Zealand 
  • The role of science, technology, and innovation for transforming food systems in Europe Claudia Canales Holzeis, Consultant, IAP Project on Food and Nutrition Security and Agriculture; Chief Executive, Kirkhouse Trust 
  • The role of science, technology, and innovation for transforming food systems globally Robin Fears, Biosciences Programme Director, European Academies’ Science Advisory Council (EASAC) 

Panel discussion with presenters and discussants

  • Moderator: Peter McGrath 
  • Chibuike Udenigwe, Professor and University Research Chair, The School Of Nutrition Sciences, University Of Ottawa, Canada; Member, Global Young Academy (GYA) 
  • Frank Sperling, Senior Project Manager, Integrated Biosphere Futures Research Group, Biodiversity And Natural Resources Program, International Institute For Applied Systems Analysis (IIASA) Member, Indian National Science Academy (INSA)


IAP (2021) IAP Food Systems Summit Briefs - July 2021, The InterAcademy Partnership, 67 pp.
  • Earlier in 2021, IAP was invited by the UN FSS Scientific Group to contribute regional and global Briefs, updating material selected from our previous reports. These were published by the UN FSS two months ago. 
  • The Briefs are now brought together in a single volume as a resource to help stimulate further discussion and action, in the run-up to the Summit and afterwards. Taking account of regional similarities and differences, it evaluates a wide range of scientific opportunities that can contribute strongly to tangible progress in transforming food systems; that can be mapped on to the UN FSS Action Tracks; and that can inform the identification and introduction of game changers. 
  • Taken together, the many recent scientific advances and further achievements now coming within reach, constitute a core resource to stimulate innovation, guide practice and inform policy decisions.
IAP’s four regional networks in Africa (the Network of African Science Academies, NASAC), the Americas (the InterAmerican Network of Academies of Sciences, IANAS), Asia (the Association of Academies and Societies of Sciences in Asia, AASSA) and Europe (the European Academies’ Science Advisory Council, EASAC) are responsible for managing and implementing many IAPfunded projects and help make IAP’s work relevant around the world. 

For more information about IAP see:

WEBINAR: When science meets policy to boost food systems transformation

7 July 2021When science meets policy to boost food systems transformation by FAO/Brussels; AFA; European Commission

Participants shared their expertise and exchange views on the importance of science for efficient
policymaking and how it can improve some of the negative economic, environmental and social externalities of food while fostering a better understanding of the synergies and potential trade-offs within and between the different dimensions of food systems. 

Experts provided their perspectives on what governance mechanisms are needed at the global, regional and country level to ensure an efficient dialogue between science and policymaking and how it can help support farmers through better access to knowledge, science, innovations, technologies and capacity building. 
  • Moderator Khalid Bomba (FAO)
  • Ismahane Elouafi Chief Scientist, FAO 
  • Patrick Child Deputy Director-General for Implementation, Impact and Sustainable Investment Strategies, EU Commission Directorate-General for Research and Innovation (DG RTD
  • Bernard Magenhann Deputy Director-General, EU Joint Research Centre JRC
  • Marjeta Jager, Deputy Director-General DG INTPA
  • Andrea Meza Minister of Environment and Innovation of Costa Rica
Panel 1:
  • Moderator: Ladislav Miko EU Convenor for the UN Food Systems Summit and EU Representative in Slovakia
  • Roberta Sonnino Professor Director of Impact and Engagement, School of Geography and Planning, Cardiff University, Rapporteur, European Commission High-level Expert Group to assess need for an international Platform for Food Systems Science 
  • Máximo Torero Cullen Chief Economist, FAO 
  • Alan Belward, Head of Unit, Food Security, EU Joint Research Centre JRC
  • Yemi Akinbamijo, Executive Director FARA
  • Elizabeth Nshimadala President, Pan-African Farmers' Organization (PAFO
  • Divine Ntiokam, Director Climate Smart Agriculture Youth Network (CSAYN)
Panel 2:
  • Pál Goda Managing Director, Research Institute of Agricultural Economics 
  • Giovanni de Santi Director for Sustainable Resources, EU Joint Research Centre 
  • Kerstin Resenow Head of Unit for Research and Innovation, Directorate-General for Agriculture and Rural Development (DG AGRI) 
  • Martin Frick Deputy to the Special Envoy for the UN Food Systems Summit 
  • Aleš Irgolič State Secretary, Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry of the Republic of Slovenia, Presidency of the Council of the EU (as of 1 July) 
  • Esther Penunia Secretary General of the Asian Farmers' Association for Sustainable Rural Development 
  • Cherrie Atilano Founding Farmer, CEO and President of AGREA Moderator 
  • Martin Hojsík Member of the European Parliament 

WEBINAR: OACPS FOOD SYSTEMS HIGH-LEVEL DIALOGUE : Building Resilient, Inclusive and Secure Food System

6 July 2021. Intergovernmental Dialogue UNFSS. OACPS FOOD SYSTEMS HIGH-LEVEL DIALOGUE : Building Resilient, Inclusive and Secure Food Systems for the Members of the Organisation of African, Caribbean and Pacific States.

To prepare for the UNFSS, an OACPS Food Systems Dialogue was held to complement
dialogues being convened at the levels of Member States of the OACPS and its six regions.

The 79 members of the Organisation of African, Caribbean and Pacific States (OACPS) are a crucial constituency in the global food system, comprising Small Island Developing States (SIDS), Least Developed Countries (LDCs), and Landlocked Developing Countries (LLDCs).

Its six regions cover a large swathe of the Blue Planet and encompass some of the most
vulnerable communities affected by environmental and developmental challenges – including those imposed by the climate crisis causing high levels of food insecurity.

While mindful of the five action tracks guiding the UNFSS for embracing a systems approach to transforming food systems, the OACPS Dialogue, co-convened by FAO Brussels, focused on “ensuring access to safe and nutritious food for all, and, building resilience to vulnerabilities, shocks and stress”, by embracing cross-cutting priority themes of:
  • Food Systems Resilience
  • Climate Resilient development pathway for food system transformation
  • Sustainable food systems to provide healthy diets for all
  • Development of high value chain commodities
  • Moderator - Pauline Brandt Journalist
  • George Rebelo Chikoti - Secretary-General, Organisation for African, Caribbean and Pacific States (OACPS)
  • Paul Valentin NgoboMinister for Agriculture of the Republic of the Congo
  • Agnes KalibataUnited Nations Food Systems Summit Special Envoy
  • Stanislav Raščan Minister for Development Cooperation a.i. of the Republic of
    Slovenia, Presidency of Council of the EU
  • Leonard Mizzi, European Commission Directorate-General for International Partnerships (DG INTPA)
  • Marjeta Jager - Deputy Director-General, European Commission Directorate-General for International Partnerships (DG INTPA)
  • Máximo Torero Cullen - Chief Economist, Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO)
  • Stuart Minchin - Director-General, Pacific Community
  • Godfrey Bahijgwa - Director of the Department of Rural Economy and Agriculture, African Union Commission
  • Moses Mose Chair of the OACPS Committee of Ambassadors
  • Cristelle PrattAssistant Secretary-General for Climate Action and Environment, Organisation for African, Caribbean and Pacific States (OACPS)
  • Ricardo Mena - Director, United Nations Office for Disaster Risk Reduction (UNDRR)
  • Temo WaqanivaluTechnical Officer, World Health Organization (WHO)
  • Paulo De LimaFAO Liaison Office in Brussels