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Published by the International Institute for Sustainable Development (iisd)


Vol. 58 No. 6
Monday, 5 April 2004


1-3 APRIL 2004

The Conference on Assuring Food and Nutrition Security in Africa by 2020 was held at the Speke Resort and Country Lodge in Kampala, Uganda, from 1-3 April 2004. The Conference was organized by the International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI), hosted by the Government of Uganda, and supported by a Conference Advisory Committee. Approximately 550 participants attended, including three heads of state, ministers and other senior officials, as well as representatives of academic and research institutions, UN bodies, intergovernmental, non-governmental, business and industry organizations, development agencies, and the media.

The all-Africa Conference is part of a longer-term consultative process on action toward food and nutrition security. It brought together traditional and new actors and stakeholders to deliberate on catalyzing change and action to secure food and nutrition in Africa by 2020. The Conference was organized around three key components: taking stock and responding to driving forces; identifying technical, institutional and political solutions for bringing about change and action in priority areas of intervention; and examining how key actors can be strengthened and partnerships between and among them facilitated for influencing change. The Conference produced an outcome document on “The Way Forward from the 2020 Africa Conference.”

Throughout the Conference, participants heard keynote addresses and interacted in panel discussions that took stock of Africa’s food and nutrition security, and considered why Africa has not yet achieved food and nutrition security and what lessons from successes can teach about improving implementation. Three sets of parallel sessions were held to address regional priorities, implementing action and strengthening stakeholders. On the opening day, the winners of the World Food Prize 2004 and the Youth Writing Contest were announced.


Scholars and policy-makers agree that food and nutrition insecurity remain fundamental threats to the sustainable development of Africa, where per-capita food production has declined in recent decades despite a 25% increase in absolute food production in the last two decades. The number of undernourished people in Africa has increased by 15% in less than a decade, to a current total of around 200 million. This figure represents a doubling since the late 1960s. In 1996, the World Food Summit set the goal of halving the number of undernourished people by 2015. The urgency of this goal was reinforced in 2000 at the UN Millennium Summit, where world leaders resolved to halve the proportion of people who suffer from hunger by 2015.

IFPRI: Founded in 1975, IFPRI is one of 16 Future Harvest centers of the Consultative Group on International Agricultural Research (CGIAR). IFPRI’s mission is to identify and analyze policies for meeting the developing world’s food needs in a sustainable manner. Research is focused on economic growth and poverty alleviation in low-income countries, improvement of the well-being of the poor, and sound natural resource management for agriculture.

2020 VISION INITIATIVE: Managed by IFPRI, the 2020 Vision for Food, Agriculture and the Environment Initiative was launched in 1993 with the primary objectives of developing and promoting a shared vision and consensus for action for meeting food needs while reducing poverty and protecting the environment. The Initiative seeks to contribute to the achievement of the UN Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), and undertakes activities to generate timely, state-of-the art information on key topics related to food, agriculture and the environment. It aims to communicate the 2020 Vision challenges through raising public awareness of global food and environmental problems and hosting seminars, workshops and conferences for dialogue, debate, information sharing and consensus building among policymakers, researchers, NGOs, the private sector and the media. It also undertakes pilot activities in research, policy communications and capacity strengthening to support IFPRI’s long-term strategy. Topics of priority action include: good governance; pro-poor national and international trade and macroeconomic policies; improving markets, infrastructure and institutions; protecting the poor and investing in human resources; improving access to productive resources and remunerative employment; expanding appropriate research, knowledge and technology; and improving natural resource management. The Initiative held its first international conference in 1995.

BONN CONFERENCE: The second international Conference on Sustainable Food Security for All by 2020 was held in Bonn, Germany, from 4-6 September 2001. The Conference aimed to influence and catalyze action by governments, international aid agencies, NGOs, business and industry, and the media. The Conference took stock of the situation and prospects for the future regarding food security. It also focused on four emerging areas of influence, related to: demographic, health and nutrition forces; economic forces; technological and environmental forces; and socio-political forces. In addition, the Conference built on action items identified at preceding sessions, focusing on issues of setting priorities for action and identifying the roles and responsibilities of key actors.

LEAD-IN EVENTS: Two relevant meetings were held prior to the Conference in Kampala. In December 2003, an international conference on Successes in African Agriculture: Building for the Future was held in Pretoria, South Africa, to identify key lessons for achieving sustainable agricultural growth in Africa. In January 2004, a regional workshop on Food and Nutrition Security Policies for West Africa: Implementation Issues and Research Agendas was held in Bamako, Mali, to discuss policy, institutional and technical options for assuring food and nutrition security in West Africa.


This report of the Conference on Assuring Food and Nutrition Security in Africa by 2020 summarizes the events of the 1-3 April 2004 meeting. It is organized by plenary sessions, which comprised keynote addresses and panel discussions, and parallel sessions. The outcome document is summarized at the end of the report.


On Thursday, 1 April, Rajul Pandya-Lorch, Head of IFPRI’s 2020 Vision Initiative, welcomed participants and called the Conference to order. Isher Judge Ahluwalia, IFPRI Board of Trustees Chair, said IFPRI’s role at this event was that of a facilitator, highlighting that the Conference was African-driven from its inception. Noting that sustainable democracy has never been built on empty stomachs, John Joseph Otim, Conference Advisory Committee Chair, said food and nutrition security are critical concerns not only for Africa, but also for the international community. Joachim von Braun, IFPRI Director General, stressed the importance of pan-African cooperation and highlighted five priority actions, namely: enhancing agricultural productivity; fostering pro-poor economic growth through trade and market development; building human and institutional capacity; improving health; and strengthening governance.

Wilberforce Kisamba-Mugerwa, Minister of Agriculture, Animal Industry and Fisheries, Uganda, spoke on collaboration with IFPRI in agricultural studies on issues of gender, HIV/AIDS, health, policies and institutions.

Yoweri Museveni, President of Uganda, officially opened the Conference. He said Africa leads the way in hunger and malnourishment, and underscored the importance of education and market access for ensuring food security. He urged a reconsideration of the role of peasants, and suggested investment in large-scale agriculture. He noted that social transformation is the key to sustainable food security.

Abdoulaye Wade, President of Senegal, elaborated on the New Partnership for Africa’s Development (NEPAD), highlighting the initiative’s regional approach to development and focus on the private sector and good governance. Noting common problems among African countries, he called for increased inter-African trade and stressed the need to address food and nutrition security within the framework of internal development.

Olusegun Obasanjo, President of Nigeria, addressed external and internal constraints to agricultural production, highlighting, inter alia, the detrimental effects of subsidies, market barriers, conflict and poor governance. He recommended: prioritizing agriculture in national policies; focusing on areas of comparative advantage; developing sustainable strategies for managing soil and water; and introducing appropriate technologies.


On Thursday, King of Tooro, Rukirabasaija Oyo Nyimba Kabambaiguru Rukidi IV, Uganda, presented the Youth Writing Contest Award to Nelisiwe Mbali Mtsweni, South Africa, who recited her winning essay entitled “Emancipation from emaciation.”

Norman Borlaug and Robert Havener, World Food Prize Foundation, announced Yuan Longping, China, and Monty Jones, Sierra Leone, as recipients of the World Food Prize 2004, for their contributions toward rice productivity.


Conference participants heard eighteen keynote addresses during the three-day meeting.

THURSDAY, 1 APRIL: In the morning, keynote addresses focused on taking stock and were chaired by Mamadou Kone, Minister of Scientific Research, Côte d’Ivoire. Evening keynote addresses were chaired by Godfrey Binaisa, former President of Uganda.

Africa’s food and nutrition security situation – where are we and how did we get here? Isatou Jallow, National Nutrition Agency, The Gambia, said nutrition security is key to development and depends on adequate food and health services, care practices and sanitary environments. She said nutrition insecurity goes beyond food insecurity and added that, while the cycle of malnutrition is “vicious,” it can be broken.

Looking ahead: Long-term prospects for Africa’s food and nutrition security: Mark Rosegrant, IFPRI, presented on the prospects for Africa’s food and nutrition security under alternative investment scenarios. He said current policies and levels of investment will lead to increased childhood malnutrition in the long term, but underscored that food security goals and the MDG on safe drinking water could be achieved with improved policies and increased investment in agricultural productivity.

Mitigating, preventing and ending conflicts in Africa: Graça Machel, Foundation for Community Development, Mozambique, pointed to conflict as one of the main causes of food insecurity in Africa, and highlighted the pernicious effect of land mines long after conflict resolution, and the destabilizing role of refugees on neighboring countries. She called for incorporating women, youth and rural populations in reconstruction efforts and decision making.

Statement from the European Commission: Speaking on behalf of Poul Nielsen, Sigurd Illing addressed whether food security could be sustained by increased and more effective aid in the context of the EC’s aid policies. Noting that food aid is not an appropriate instrument for fostering long-term agricultural development, he highlighted the EC’s strategy to eliminate food aid, except in post-crisis situations.

Achieving sustainable agricultural growth in Africa: Lessons from experience: Recalling the achievements of the Green Revolution, Norman Borlaug, Sasakawa Africa Association, noted the role of technology in attaining sustainable agricultural growth. He identified the lack of infrastructure as “the curse of Africa” and political will as the crucial enabler in transforming agriculture.

FRIDAY, 2 APRIL: The morning thematic keynote speakers addressed implementing action. This session was chaired by Courage Quashigah, Minister of Food and Agriculture, Ghana. The evening session was chaired by Mildred Namwiinde Mpundu, Step Out Media Communications and Business Development Consultancy Services, Zambia.

Strategies for improving food and nutrition security in Africa: Victoria Sekitoleko, FAO Subregional Office for Southern and East Africa, called on political leaders to address land tenure issues. She stressed the need to increase productivity and enhance human capacity in all areas, particularly water management. She further recommended investing the billions of US dollars spent annually on food imports in agriculture instead.

Technological options for Africa’s small-scale farmers: Gordon Conway, Rockefeller Foundation, said Africa was embarking on a “doubly green revolution” in which genetically modified crops have an important role to play. He recommended the establishment of networks of “agro-dealers” to spread agricultural inputs and know-how throughout the country, and investment in human capital.

Implementing action to reduce hunger: Learning from Mali’s experiences: Ouman Ibrahima Touré, Minister for Food Security, Mali, outlined his country’s food security strategies, elaborating on a national programme that liberalized state monopoly on cereals. He described its institutional arrangements and highlighted early warning and information analysis systems.

What African countries can do to support implementation of action for food and nutrition security in Africa: Augustin Fosu, UN Economic Commission for Africa (ECA), said the key to regional economic growth lies in an African green revolution, based on biotechnology adapted to regional particularities. He noted the ECA’s role in enabling this revolution, as well as its work on HIV/AIDS and good governance.

What industrialized countries can do to promote agricultural and rural development in Africa: Perspectives of a development organization: Bernd Eisenblätter, GTZ, spoke on improving market access for African agricultural products. He encouraged diversifying products, defending existing market shares and capturing new markets. He noted that African farmers may not benefit from the phasing out of market distortions.

What industrialized countries can do to support implementation of action for food and nutrition security in Africa: Perspectives from USAID: Emmy Simmons, USAID, prioritized market access, science and technology (S&T) and good governance. She said agribusiness is the future of African agriculture and underscored the role of S&T in achieving this end. She highlighted the Millennium Challenge Account, a new assistance initiative rewarding good governance, promotion of economic freedom and investment in people.

Confronting AIDS and hunger in Africa: Alan Whiteside, University of KwaZulu-Natal, called HIV/AIDS the greatest health crisis of our time and identified three main challenges: prevention; care and treatment; and understanding and mitigating impacts of HIV/AIDS. He underscored the detrimental effects of HIV/AIDS on agricultural productivity, and stressed the importance of securing and sustaining appropriate nutrition for years to come.

Statement by the African Union: Rosebud Kurwijila, African Union (AU), elaborated on food security policies of the AU and its Commission, noting that new commitments signify a departure from past tendencies of African governments to overlook this issue.

SATURDAY, 3 APRIL: The morning session addressed political will and changing attitudes for action, and was chaired by Moïse Mensah, former Minister of Finance, Benin. The final afternoon keynote address was chaired by Charlotte McClain, South African Human Rights Commission.

Fighting HIV/AIDS through attitudinal changes: Experience from Uganda: Janet Museveni, First Lady of Uganda, presented on Uganda’s success in reducing HIV/AIDS infection trends since the 1980s through an approach that she said could be equally as effective for reducing poverty and food insecurity. She outlined the President’s social communication approach, which hinges on prevention, care, support, impact mitigation and capacity strengthening, and tailors messages to vulnerable groups.

Changing attitudes and behaviors: The role of Africa’s cultural leaders: Literature Nobel Prize Laureate Wole Soyinka, University of Nevada, highlighted the significance and interdependence of food and cultivation in integrating communities and fostering culture. He lamented the human suffering that Africa has undergone, inflicted through hunger and displacement, imposed by self-centered politics and inappropriate production and distribution strategies, and aggravated by the ravages of oil production, civil strife and HIV/AIDS. He recommended dedicating a day or a festival to the “culture of food renewal” that is African and people-centered and that integrates African traditions with appropriate modern technologies. He also stressed the need to appeal to and engage youth in the battle against hunger.

Building strong partnerships to improve Africa’s food security and rural incomes: Peter McPherson, University of Michigan, emphasized stability and markets as crucial to lifting countries out of poverty, and noted the importance of technology, education and infrastructural development. He observed a unique opportunity with the present number of democratically-elected leaders in Africa and expressed confidence in the future of the continent.

Assuring food and nutrition security in Africa: perspective of the African Development Bank: Theodore Nkodo, African Development Bank, described the challenges faced by Africa in assuring food security, and outlined actions needed at the national, regional and donor levels. He said the Bank prioritizes agriculture and rural development, with a focus on increasing productivity, adopting participatory approaches and decentralizing decision making. He stressed the importance of managing water for agriculture, building institutional capacity and scaling up investment in agriculture.

Actions needed for reaching the Millennium Development Goals in Africa with a focus on overcoming hunger: Opening with a note of caution that, on its present course, Africa would not attain the MDGs, Jeffrey Sachs, Millennium Project, said Africa’s main problem is lack of financial resources. He noted that the means to escape poverty are straightforward, listing investment in chemical fertilizers, water irrigation, roads, clinics and schools. He said that while it is out of reach for African governments, such investment represents only a small fraction of rich countries’ budgets. He called for action on moving political leadership to invest in Africa, which he said represents “the best bargain in history.”


WHY HAS AFRICA NOT YET ACHIEVED FOOD AND NUTRITION SECURITY? This panel discussion was held on Thursday, chaired by Richard Mkandawire, NEPAD Secretariat.

Josué Dioné, UN ECA, said the main cause for downgraded conditions in Africa lies in historical policy inconsistencies that have led to the undercapitalization of agriculture. He identified market development, water management, land registration and titling, regionalization of research, and the treatment of HIV as possible pillars on which a renewed long-term agricultural policy may be based. Noting that producing food is not necessary for achieving self-sufficiency, Robbie Mupawose, Barclays Bank of Zimbabwe, emphasized the importance of income security and creating business enterprises. He urged land ownership by women and entrepreneurs, and recommended listening to farmers, creating viable farmer associations, and adopting biotechnology.

Mandivamba Rukuni, W.K. Kellogg Foundation, recognized political will to invest in agriculture among African governments, but noted a time-lag in implementation. He highlighted weaknesses in key support institutions for small-holder farmers, praised traditional land tenure models, and encouraged investment in social and physical capital. Rosebud Kurwijila outlined causes of Africa’s food and nutrition insecurity, highlighting among others: inadequate food supply, distribution and access; traditional cultural practices prohibiting women and children from eating certain foods; and changing food habits. She stressed the need to recognize the central role of women.

In closing, Chair Mkandawire summarized the key challenges for food and nutrition security, including translating political commitment into action, and addressing questions of gender, governance, transparency and mutual accountability within Africa and among development partners.

IMPROVING IMPLEMENTATION: WHAT CAN LESSONS FROM SUCCESSES AND FAILURES TEACH US? This discussion was held on Friday and was chaired by Hamid Narjisse, National Institute for Agronomy Research, Morocco.

Based on a review of successful case studies, Peter Hazell, IFPRI, stressed the importance of government intervention in the early stages of agricultural revolutions. He said that although success depends on a number of elements within a market chain, experience shows that public sector involvement is crucial for incorporating small-holder farmers into the chain and contributing to poverty reduction.

Hezron Nyangito, Kenya Institute for Public Policy Research, drew on observations in a background paper prepared for the Conference that evaluates strategies, policies and actions taken by African countries to achieve food and nutrition security. Wilberforce Kisamba-Mugerwa said success in attaining food security depends on market access and research. He elaborated on additional constraints, including: low levels of technology adoption; poor extension services; vulnerability to drought; conflicts; and lack of infrastructure, stakeholder involvement and financing.

Drawing on his NGO’s experience, Hans-Joachim Preuss, German Agro Action, recommended: involving local communities in implementation; establishing a coordination body comprised of field actors; and creating long term programmes where activities can be institutionalized within communities. He said the role of governments should be to ensure security and provide legal and institutional frameworks for stakeholder involvement.

In the discussion on improving implementation, participants addressed, inter alia: the role of government and NGOs; the importance of strong farmer organizations; and the need to balance short and long- term approaches. Several participants said small-scale agricultural production can be competitive if given adequate mechanisms. Some also pointed to the need for clear policies that delineate the responsibility of government and the role of the private sector.


Three sets of parallel sessions were held during the Conference. On Thursday, participants discussed regional perspectives and priorities for action. On Friday, participants considered implementing action in key areas. On Saturday, they addressed strengthening actors and facilitating partnerships. Following each forum, participants met in plenary where forum chairs presented a wrap-up of the discussions.

Editor’s note: IFPRI contributed to reporting on three of the sessions.

REGIONAL FORUM: PRIORITIES FOR ACTION: PERSPECTIVES FROM THE REGIONS: Southern Africa: This regional forum was chaired by Bongiwe Njobe, Department of Agriculture, South Africa, and moderated by Tobias Takavarasha, Food, Agriculture and Natural Resources Policy Analysis Network.

Johann Kirsten, University of Pretoria, stressed the need to focus on how to implement priority actions. Noting that political concerns often impede the functioning of systems, institutions and markets and hinder business opportunities, he said food and nutrition security goals can be met if all stakeholders have a common vision and strategy for achieving these goals. He underscored the role of transportation networks in linking and developing regional markets, and argued that efforts toward good governance and infrastructural development are meaningless without the elimination of agricultural subsidies in developed countries.

Ajay Vashee, Southern African Confederation of Agricultural Unions, outlined examples of “negative” government interventions from the perspective of southern African farmers. He noted the importance of providing social services, such as education, healthcare and roads, and stressed the need for macroeconomic stability, enabling national legislation and consistent policy requirements. He said uncontrolled food aid hinders sustainable agriculture, and urged building capacity of farmers in order for them to be well organized and better able to articulate their interests.

In the ensuing discussion, participants addressed: market access; information availability; food aid; and capacity building. On market access, participants called for investing in regional transport networks and infrastructure. Noting that subsidies were not going to be eliminated in the short term, one participant urged better management of natural resources. On information, several stressed the need for data sharing and strengthening early warning systems and analytical capacity. One participant suggested discussing development issues on the radio, and another recommended clearinghouses. Several discussed the role of food aid, highlighting that it creates dependence, not security. On capacity building, a number of participants emphasized the need to train small-scale farmers, and mobilize youth to work in the agricultural sector.

West Africa: This session was chaired by Mamadou Kone. Moderator Achi Atsain, West African Economic Association, outlined regional concerns for food security, including: market access; negotiation capacity; governance; conflicts; migration; lack of implementation of agreed legal instruments; and investment in infrastructure. Speaking on challenges to nutrition security, Rosanna Agble, Ghana Health Service, stressed technical, political and institutional issues. She suggested that nutrition be viewed as a development rather than a humanitarian issue. She urged strong political support, collaboration with and among sectors, and a proactive nutrition agenda.

Michel Benoit-Cattin, French Agricultural Research Center for International Development, provided several suggestions for moving forward in addresing regional food and nutrition security. He supported increased agricultural research, free movement of people and goods within the region, investment in infrastructure, and regional cooperation. Uzo Mokwunye, UN University, Institute for Natural Resources in Africa, identified restoration of soil nutrients as key to assuring food security and productivity. Observing that phosphorous is abundant in West Africa, he suggested its application to raise plant nitrogen fixation and increase productivity.

Kanayo Nwanze, the Africa Rice Center, noted that agriculture is the backbone of Africa’s economic development. Highlighting the development of the New Rice for Africa (NERICA), he said scientific and technological breakthroughs could boost Africa’s productivity and urged African leaders to take ownership of such technologies.

In the discussion, participants urged regional collaboration in crop production, consideration of gender issues, and introduction of additional crops. One participant noted a lack of political will to address food insecurity. 

East and Central Africa: This forum was chaired by Newai Gebre- ab, Ethiopian Development Research Institute, and moderated by Isaac Minde, Eastern and Central African Programme for Agricultural Policy Analysis.

Joseph Wanjama, Ministry of Agriculture, Kenya, noted that food insecurity is not caused by lack of resources but rather by lack of coordination of available resources, and stressed the need to identify partnerships and scale up successful experiences. Asha-Rose Migiro, Minister of Community Development, Gender and Children, Tanzania, highlighted the role of women in securing food and nutrition and called for empowering women through law and development policies, particularly those that address land tenure and public representation.

Pointing to an agreement in the Maputo Declaration, Kankonde Mukadi, Protestant University of the Congo, requested clarification on how the 10% allocation of national budgets to be spent on agriculture would be allocated. He urged close and equitable collaboration among researchers and between IFPRI and local agronomy faculties to address topics of interest shared by academia, civil society and government.

In the ensuing discussion, participants raised questions on the Maputo Declaration’s call for a 10% budget allocation to agriculture, and on the effects of food aid in creating food insecurity. Several participants noted the importance of access to credit for raising productivity. A call was also made for empowering women, and for improving conditions for youth in rural areas, while attending to conservation of natural resources.

Northern Africa: This forum was reported on by IFPRI. This session was chaired by Mohand Laenser, Minister of Agriculture, Rural Development and Forestry, Morocco.

Mohammed El Mourid, International Center for Agricultural Research in the Dry Areas, described the constraints to agricultural and rural development posed by climate change, lack of water, and limited land and soil resources, as well as the opportunities offered by the region’s diverse agroecologies and its human resources. He emphasized the importance of science and technology in advancing development in the region. Mustapha Guellouz, Enterprise, Livestock and Pasture Office, Tunisia, commented on efforts to promote livestock and milk production, stating that this sector faces many obstacles but provides substantial opportunities.

El-Sayed Zaki, former Minister of Finance and Economic Planning, Sudan, noted that most countries in the region share a high level of population growth, populations distributed in narrow geographic areas, and preference for food self-sufficiency over food security. He noted a long-established trade dependency in North Africa, and encouraged the integration of regional markets with global markets, as well as with markets of African neighbors.

Several discussants mentioned the importance of education for farmers. One participant pointed to the existence of two rural areas in North Africa: one with abundant water and high potential for agricultural development, and another with low rainfall and limited potential.

Wrap-up plenary session: This session was chaired by Per Pinstrup-Andersen, Cornell University.

Reporting on the Southern African session, Njobe said discussions focused on markets and trade, food aid, human and natural resource productivity, and institutions. She identified among others the need for good governance within industry and developed countries, and noted calls for exit strategies and alternatives to food aid, eliminating subsidies, and investing in transportation networks.

Gebre-ab summarized the East and Central Africa session, highlighting discussions on: the assigned 10% investment in agriculture under the Maputo Declaration; women’s empowerment; trade; small- farmer credit; natural resource management; coordination; and partnerships.

For West Africa, Kone highlighted discussions on: linkages between food and nutritional issues; political commitment; moving from rhetoric to action; capacity building; and generating conditions for the promotion of successful technological breakthroughs. He said other issues raised in the session included: strengthening agronomical research; better linkages between research and education; better communication of research findings and results; and enhancing investment in material and financial infrastructure.

Laenser said the Northern African session linked regional food insecurity to inadequate food productivity caused by lack of water, infertile soils and land fragmentation. He reported that participants called for, inter alia, investment in agricultural technology, water management, improved human resources, participatory approaches, and sound policy and legal frameworks for partnerships.

Chair Pinstrup-Andersen then summarized the needs identified in the regional forum, highlighting: better governance; political commitment; further agricultural research; and improved water management.

ACTION FORUM: IMPLEMENTING ACTION IN KEY AREAS: Raising agricultural productivity: Monty Jones, Forum for Agricultural Research in Africa, chaired this session, which addressed actions to reverse declining trends in agricultural productivity in Africa.

Glyvyns Chinkhuntha, Freedom Gardens, Malawi, lamented that youth are asked to choose between education and farming, and urged recognition of the role of educated people in revitalizing the agriculture sector. He called for empowerment of farmer networks. Seyfu Ketema, Association for Strengthening Agricultural Research in Eastern and Central Africa, encouraged better networks for addressing environmental, institutional and social challenges to agricultural productivity, such as natural resource degradation, climate change, shrinking budgets and poverty.

Pedro Sanchez, UN Millennium Project Task Force on Hunger, presented on overcoming biophysical obstacles to increase agricultural productivity, and highlighted in particular raising soil nutrient levels through the application of fertilizer. Carlos Seré, International Livestock Research Institute, stressed the importance of livestock for food security and said it is an overlooked aspect of agriculture. He described the livestock sector as a driver for generating opportunities and income for the poor. Eugene Terry, African Agricultural Technology Foundation, urged embracing new technologies to raise agricultural productivity for achieving self-sufficiency and prosperity. Florence Wambugu, A Harvest Biotech Foundation International, described efforts to develop and deliver appropriate technologies. She encouraged promoting farming as a business in order to attract youth to agriculture.

In the ensuing discussion, audience members stressed: the possibility of fertilizer aid as an alternative to food aid; the importance of attentive soil management, not just fertilization; the removal of agricultural subsidies in developed countries; and the importance of aquaculture as an aspect of agriculture. Participants encouraged: ensuring sustainability of increased agricultural productivity; credit access for farmers; irrigation systems adapted to African circumstances; inter-African trade; crop diversification; and access to funding for agro- industrial research.

Fostering economic growth and improving markets and trade: This session was chaired by panelist Benno Ndulu, World Bank, who pointed to income security and market integration as two areas of focus. Akinwumi Adesina, Rockefeller Foundation, moderated the session.

Eleni Gabre-Madhin, World Bank, underlined the need to “get markets right,” which entails addressing incentives, institutions and infrastructure. She highlighted institutions as the least understood and most important element in market development. Speaking from the perspective of the private sector, Hans Jöhr, Nestec Ltd., presented on how to link farmers to the food chain. He underlined the food industry’s requirement for long-term relationships and flexible structures to ensure reliable supplies of quality raw agricultural material.

Stephen Kiuri Njukia and Bernard Kagira, Regional Agricultural Trade Expansion Support Program, reported on the Regional Trade Policy Platforms, a private sector driven strategy for harmonizing commodity-specific policies and regulations across the region. They explained that the project addresses information gaps by making available updated information on supply and demand of specific agricultural commodities to facilitate intra-regional trade.

Speaking as a panelist, Benno Ndulu stressed the link between nutrition security and economic growth. He highlighted actions to promote growth, including: maintaining macroeconomic stability; improving governance; investing in infrastructure; diversifying rural incomes; and collectively engaging with the global development community.

Noting a paradigm shift towards “getting markets right,” participants in this session raised several constraints to improving markets and trade, including, inter alia, barriers in inter-African trade, the effects of contract farming and supermarkets’ buying power, and post-harvest losses due to lack of storage and food-processing capacity. In this regard, one participant cautioned that Uganda’s grain market will collapse in 2005 due to overstocking, and pointed to the need for engaging commerce and banks in providing financial mechanisms for risk management.

Building human capacity: This forum was reported on by IFPRI. This session was chaired by Angeline Kamba, UN/UNESCO World Commission on Culture and Development, and moderated by Soumana Sako, African Capacity Building Foundation.

Focusing on the problems of access to and quality of higher education, Kwadwo Asenso-Okyere, University of Ghana, called for increased government investment in education and incorporation of HIV/AIDS-related education. William Lyakurwa, African Economic Research Consortium (AERC), discussed the role of networks of individuals and institutions in building and retaining human capacity. Based on AERC’s experience, he said sustainable networks require clear objectives, appropriate governance structures, and innovative peer reviewed research.

Suresh Babu, IFPRI, focused on areas requiring capacity development, highlighting coordination among donor programmes and objectives, and mainstreaming food and nutrition security into finance policies. Jim Ryan, Australian National University, said with appropriate investment in agricultural research and development, Africa could experience a number of “rainbow revolutions” rather than the one Green Revolution that Asia experienced.

Carl Greenidge, Technical Center for Agricultural and Rural Cooperation, discussed his center’s approach to building institutional and individual capacity for achieving food security, highlighting enhancing skills, raising awareness and facilitating stakeholder dialogue.

Improving nutrition and health: This forum was reported on by IFPRI. This session was chaired by Kabba Joiner, West African Health Organization, and moderated by Tola Atinmo, Federation of African Nutrition Societies.

Stuart Gillespie, IFPRI, spoke on the interactions between HIV/ AIDS and nutrition, explaining that causes and effects run both ways. He said nutrition is fundamental to prevention, care, treatment and mitigation of HIV/AIDS and advocated considering policies in terms of their effects on people’s vulnerability and resistance to HIV/AIDS. Amadou Kanouté, Consumers International Office for Africa, argued that food and nutrition insecurity must be tackled on many levels. He highlighted concerns, such as trade policies that compromise African food production and markets, and consumption and production models that exacerbate food insecurity.

On implementing interventions to manage the effects of HIV/AIDS on nutrition security, Robert Mwandime, Regional Center for Quality of Health Care, stressed: understanding the context of any intervention; creating and maintaining partnerships; having clear policies and guidelines; integrating nutrition activities with other activities; building capacities at various levels; and sharing experiences of successes and failures. Ebrahim Samba, World Health Organization, Regional Office for Africa, said the importance of nutrition is not sufficiently acknowledged, and urged nutritionists to lobby for nutrition issues in their home countries.

Flora Sibanda-Mulder, Unicef-World Food Programme (WFP) Collaboration, spoke on the WFP Food for Education (FFE) programme, which aims to raise food and nutrition security by alleviating hunger, increasing enrollment and reducing dropout rates, particularly of girls.

In the ensuing discussion, one participant emphasized the importance of family planning to help improve women’s nutrition security. Several participants reiterated the need to raise the profile of nutrition issues. Discussants also addressed the importance of plant breeding to raise the nutritional value of foods, the importance of food safety, and the need for proactive collaboration with other sectors.

Strengthening governance: This session was chaired by Bethuel Kiplagat, Africa Peace Forum, and moderated by Charlotte McClain.

Tom Arnold, Concern Worldwide, said international NGOs need to forge new forms of partnerships with local NGOs that add value and catalyze change. He also called for systematic analysis of the implications of HIV/AIDS on human resource capacity. Meaza Ashenafi, Ethiopian Women Lawyers Association, spoke on the legal frameworks concerning the right to food, noting challenges in implementing and claiming this right. She stressed the need to integrate women into food and nutrition policy planning. John Githongo, Governance and Ethics, Office of the President, Kenya, outlined areas targeted in Kenya’s fight against corruption, highlighting, inter alia, the need for: leadership; institutional and legal reform; and enabling environments for civil society and media input.

Yemi Katerere, Center for International Forestry Research, spoke on forest governance, stressing the need to approach resource management in terms of livelihood options. He elaborated on the challenges of decentralization and emphasized the need to invest in capacity building. David King, International Federation of Agricultural Producers, urged strong farmer associations, and said local ownership of development programmes and meaningful consultative processes are necessary for good governance. Norah Owaraga, Uganda Change Agent Association, presented on how her organization implements change and strengthens governance at the grassroots level. She said human development forms the basis of all development.

While participants agreed that good governance needs to take place at all levels, discussions focused on the need for effective public participation to ensure government accountability. Participants called for: educating people on their rights and building capacity for exercising these rights; simplifying rules and decision making processes; and creating a “safe space” for dialogue. Highlighting that politicians often use land as a reward for political favors, several urged governments to create strong legislation to address problems relating to land tenure. Participants also discussed issues surrounding centralized power, noting the long terms of many African leaders.

Wrap-up plenary session: Chaired by Harris Mule, Top Investment and Management Services, Kenya, this session heard reports from the parallel sessions by the forum chairs.

Jones summarized suggestions for increasing agricultural productivity, including to: develop efficient output and input markets; strengthen policy to support export; build capacity; embrace biotechnologies; restore natural resources; invest in soil fertility and irrigation systems; and empower women and youth.

Ndulu summarized the session on fostering economic growth and improving markets and trade, highlighting, inter alia, the importance of the good reputation of Africa as a whole; the crucial role of institutions that reduce transaction costs and foster access to market information; the need for infrastucture and regional coordination; and the importance of diversification of incomes and resources.

On nutrition and health, Joiner reported that the session stressed the importance of women’s health, inter-sectoral collaboration, and an integrated approach based on community needs. He regretted that nutrition was insufficiently addressed by the Conference.

Kamba reported that the forum on building human capacity identified actors, areas and actions for capacity development. He said discussions had pointed to knowledge, communication and negotiation skills, and monitoring and evaluation as areas for capacity development, and recognized utilizing existing capacity, investing in education, and retaining intellectual capital as priority actions.

Kiplagat reported that the session on strengthening governance focused on the need to: ensure good governance at all levels; strengthen capacity and foster genuine participation of the rural poor; establish simple and transparent rules and procedures; empower women and farmers; address land tenure; foster strong civil society and media participation; and address corruption and ensure restitution.

In the ensuing discussion, one participant urged attention to technology delivery. Another suggested further research to evaluate the secondary effects of genetically modified organisms on health and nutrition. One discussant pointed to agriculture and health as being the “parents” of nutrition. The establishment of regulatory frameworks for biotechnology within each country and across national boundaries was also urged.

STAKEHOLDER FORUM: STRENGTHENING ACTORS AND FACILITATING PARTNERSHIPS: Parliamentarians and business leaders: Co-chaired by Edith Nawakwi, National Assembly of Zambia, and Alhaji Bamanga Tukur, NEPAD Business Group, this session considered the means of strengthening business and parliaments to facilitate food and nutrition objectives. Participants raised several concerns, including the need for leadership and political will, market access, information sharing, the impact of conflict, and lack of infrastructure. Some noted that African countries should focus on products of comparative advantage rather than expect richer countries to remove their agricultural subsidies.

Noting that the executive branch of government often operates independently of the legislative branch, especially in development matters, parliamentarians called for increased involvement in decision making and implementation. One parliamentarian stressed the need to foster income-generating activities, and another to consider whether changes from traditional to scientific methods are meeting our needs.

Business representatives called on parliamentarians to engage with them in decision making and implementation, and to monitor the implementation of decisions. One representative stressed the role of agribusiness in producing nutritious food for Africa. He said businesses require incentives for investment, institutions to ensure clear rules and a stable business environment, and infrastructure to gain access to rural areas. One representative urged involvement of the private sector in emergency food aid.

National policymakers and development partners: This session was co-chaired by Helder Muteia, Minister of Agriculture, Mozambique, Amalia Garcia-Tharn, European Commission, and Judy O’Connor, World Bank.

Co-Chair Garcia-Tharn underscored the importance of institution building, and cautioned against the effects of corruption on the effectiveness of aid. Co-Chair O’Conner stressed the importance of listening to partners in order to have more effective relations, and said donors do not aim to fill the role of governments. Co-Chair Muteia urged for harmonization and coordination among donors and between donors and recipient stakeholders. He stressed the importance of considering differences in national circumstances.

In the discussion, participants urged consultative relations between farmers and the public and private sectors. Others encouraged: empowering farmers to speak up for their needs; partnerships and dialogue between state and civil society; and women’s legal access to land. Discussants also addressed: the destructive impacts of past structural adjustment programmes on current food security; the role of Poverty Reduction Strategy Papers in guiding donors; and the role of debt in causing poverty and malnutrition.

Several participants urged African self-sufficiency for self- development and food security, and stressed the importance of national solidarity and pride in African capacities. One participant cautioned against the adoption of biotechnology. Another suggested that while strategies for nutrition security are known, capacity for their implementation is lacking.

Non-governmental organizations, farmers organizations and media: Co-Chair Ayo Abifarin, World Vision, opened the session noting that the relationship between NGOs, farmer organizations and the media is characterized by lack of integration, where farmers are rarely taken into account in project design by NGOs, and the media is only informed of finalized projects. Co-Chair Mercy Karanja, Kenya Federation of Agricultural Producers, outlined how farmer organizing in Africa has strengthened following the World Summit on Sustainable Development. She said food security should not be hostage to world markets, and that farmers need strong institutions and capacity building to better organize and negotiate. Noting that the media is a profit-driven business, Co-Chair Ibiba don Pedro, The Guardian, called for NGOs and farmer organizations to build effective partnerships with journalists interested in their issues. She also urged journalists to report on development issues, noting that she had won the 2003 CNN African Journalist Award based on her coverage of environmental, human rights and development issues.

In the ensuing discussion, participants highlighted the importance of collaboration to build communication and advocacy strategies to affect political will. One participant noted the need to identify the concrete steps that can lead to abolishing subsidies in rich countries, while another pointed to the role of international NGOs in affecting donor interests. Several participants called for NGOs and international organizations to help secure funds for building capacity among farmer organizations.

Wrap-up plenary session: Chaired by Charlotte McClain, the wrap-up session on strengthening actors and facilitating partnerships addressed how actors from all levels can work together to achieve food and nutrition security.

Speaking on the session with parliamentarians and business leaders, Nawakwi stressed the urgency of breaking out of the vicious cycle of poverty, questioned the effectiveness of the current parliamentary system, and highlighted the need to build mutual trust. Tukur called for a clear roadmap showing the way forward with auditable programmes. Stressing the importance of ownership, he said the roadmap should be accompanied by an enforceable document, such as a MOU or citizen’s charter. He emphasized involving all actors in the food chain from production to consumption, and the role of information in decision making.

On the views of national policymakers and development partners, Muteia encouraged common language and visions among these actors. O’Connor urged scaling up what works, and scaling back what does not. Garcia-Tharn underscored the role of youth, women and farmers, and the utility of decentralizing institutions in the agriculture sector.

Summarizing the session on NGOs, farmer organizations and the media, Karanja highlighted the complimentarity of roles between NGOs, farmer organizations and media, but said the links between them must be reinforced. She urged NGOs to enhance the organizing capacity of farmer organizations, and underscored the need to work with local NGOs and the importance of research, information and communications technology.

In the discussion, one participant noted that nutrition security was not sufficiently addressed during the Conference, and said it must be considered further if the goal of food and nutrition security is to be achieved by 2020. Participants stressed the importance of pride and self-sufficiency within Africa, but one noted that unity, commitment and common long-term planning are essential for this. Another suggested a “Marshall Plan for Africa” to fill this role.


Throughout the Conference, the IFPRI Secretariat carried out a digital opinion poll to assess participants’ views on the various aspects of food and nutrition security. Results of the vote can be found on the IFPRI website:


In his closing remarks on Saturday afternoon, Joachim von Braun thanked the Government of Uganda, National Organizing Committee, Conference co-sponsors and others for making the event possible. Providing an IFPRI synthesis of the event, he highlighted five points and elaborated on IFRPI’s plans to follow-up on these issues: optimizing different pathways to economic and social development for each African country; strengthening capacity at all levels; investing in markets; preparing for the impending orphan crisis; and developing clear roadmaps to attain poverty and food security goals. He then briefed President Museveni, who arrived at the close of the event, on the proceedings of the Conference, highlighting the draft outcome document entitled “The Way Forward from the 2020 Africa Conference” and requesting President Museveni to endorse it.

John Joseph Otim thanked President Museveni for his interest in the Conference, and said the Conference had confirmed that food and nutrition security can and must be achieved. Wilberforce Kisamba- Mugerwa presented the draft outcome document.

President Museveni welcomed the draft outcome document and called for prioritizing trade access, saying that trade will “bring about everything else.” He said the “problem of Africa” was not due to lack of implementation but lack of direction, and noted that NEPAD was working to address this. He then declared the Conference closed at 5:33 pm.


Throughout the three days, the Conference Advisory Committee met to summarize issues emerging from the Conference, producing a draft outcome document that presents recommendations on the steps necessary for moving toward the goal of assuring food and nutrition security in Africa by 2020. 

BACKGROUND: This section provides the context in which the Conference was convened, recognizing renewed attention and commitment to Africa’s food and nutrition security and noting that the Conference occurred between the African Union Summit on Agriculture and Water and the 2004 African Union Summit that will address hunger.             

PRIORITIZING ACTIONS: This section outlines the goals, timelines, focus and strategies for assuring food and nutrition security in Africa.

On goals, this section notes that food and nutrition security have been clearly defined and highlights the lack of political will to address these goals. Food security is described as reliable access to food in sufficient quantity and quality for a healthy and productive life for all, and nutrition security is achieved when access to food is coupled with sanitary environment, adequate health services, and knowledgeable care that foster good nutritional status throughout one’s life and across generations.

On focus, it recommends that actions toward food and nutrition security be prioritized according to their potential for delivering fast and sustainable impacts, urging support for strategic investment in rural development and recognizing the need to address extreme cases such as famine.

On strategies, it stresses the need to link goals to means and to include input from the poor. It prioritizes:

  • strengthening governance and public accountability;

  • fostering macroeconomic growth and stability;

  • investing in food processing for value addition;

  • investing in pro-poor health policies and actions to raise labor productivity and nutrition security;

  • investing in raising agricultural productivity; and

  • investing in human capacity, particularly through education of women, youth and farmers.

The section also emphasizes the need to: align the scale of investment with expected returns; establish and strengthen social safety nets; and build on Africa’s diversity when prioritizing actions.

STRENGTHENING ACTORS INVOLVED IN FOOD AND NUTRITION SECURITY: This section calls for recognition of the different actors and their comparative strengths, and recommends improved communication between them. It says that actors need to gain more influence to effectively prioritize actions. It advocates a rights- based approach to improving food and nutrition security. The section urges building capacity of all actors in food and nutrition policymaking and policy assessment through investment in education and training, and strengthening actors on the job. It calls for empowering actors with information and analysis, and encouraging access to information for civil society and the media, not only government. It also urges gender mainstreaming, noting the role of women in rural development and agriculture in Africa. Finally, it urges mobilization of advanced science and relevant technologies to address food and nutrition problems in Africa.

FACILITATING PARTNERSHIPS: This section recommends better coordination of work between actors, stating that current partnerships between the public sector and other players are weak. It says that teams of actors should progress together rather than separately. New partnerships are encouraged, such as with cultural and religious leaders, to support the food and nutrition security agenda. Improved interaction between parliaments and business and civil society is recommended. The section says partnerships that foster synergies between public interest, institutional innovation and civil society must be supported, and be based on clear targets and legal contracts.

ADDRESSING IMPLEMENTATION CONSTRAINTS: This section outlines the need for a well-developed implementation framework. It calls for delineating responsibility and accountability among key food and nutrition security policy actors and supports sharing knowledge and approaches by successful countries acting as subregional leaders. It stresses the need to mobilize international support, particularly regarding coping with HIV/AIDS, drought and transboundary issues such as trade, labor, and livestock and crop diseases, as well as for infrastructure investment. The document also specifies priorities for implementation, calls for investment in agriculture based on agroecology and urges monitoring implementation of actions.


SECOND ASIAN CONFERENCE ON BIOTECHNOLOGY AND DEVELOPMENT: This conference will take place from 7-8 April 2004 in New Delhi, India. Conference topics include: agriculture, food security and the economic contribution of biotechnology; public- private partnerships for financing biotechnology; biotechnology, trade, and intellectual property issues; and national biosafety legislation and the implementation of the Cartagena Protocol. For more information contact: Nagesh Kumar, Director-General, RIS; tel: +91-1124-6821- 7780; fax: +91-1124-6821-7374; e-mail:; Internet:

UNEP-GEF SUB-REGIONAL WORKSHOP ON DEVELOPMENT OF NATIONAL BIOSAFETY FRAMEWORKS FOR FRANCOPHONE AFRICA: Scheduled to take place from 20-23 April 2004 in Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso, this workshop will help participants better understand the requirements of the Cartagena Protocol and options for regulatory regimes and administrative systems for biosafety. For more information contact: Christopher Briggs; tel: +41-22-917-8411; fax: +41-22-917-8070; e-mail:; Internet:

FOOD 21 SYMPOSIUM: TOWARDS SUSTAINABLE PRODUCTION AND CONSUMPTION: This event will be held from 26-28 April 2004 in Uppsala, Sweden. For more information contact: Symposium Secretariat; tel: +46-18-67-10-03; fax: +46-18-67- 35-30; e-mail:; Internet:

SEVENTH INTERNATIONAL ROUNDTABLE DISCUSSIONS ON STATISTICS OF AGRICULTURAL PRODUCTION, TRADE, SUPPLY/UTILIZATION ACCOUNTS AND FOOD BALANCE SHEETS: This meeting will be held from 10-14 May 2004 in Chisinau, Moldova. Participants will: prepare and present country papers on the status of food and agricultural statistics; review datasets on crop and livestock production and trade; and be trained to construct supply/utilization accounts and food balance sheets. For more information contact: Edward Gillin, FAO Statistics Division; tel: +39-6-5705-3599; fax: +39-6-5705-5615; e-mail:; Internet:

WORLD AGRICULTURAL FORUM REGIONAL CONGRESS - FUTURE OF THE AGRI-FOOD SYSTEM: PERSPECTIVES FROM THE AMERICAS: This congress will convene from 16-18 May 2004 in St. Louis, Missouri, US, to consider developing a new model for agriculture. For more information contact: World Agricultural Forum; tel: +1-314-206-3208; fax: +1-314-206- 3222; e-mail:; Internet:

36TH WORLD FARMERS’ CONGRESS: This congress will take place from 29 May to 4 June 2004 in Washington, DC, US, to address global issues relevant to farmers, such as the WTO trade negotiations, water and food security. For more information contact: IFAP-FIPA; tel: +33-1-4526-0553; fax: +33-1-4874-7212; e-mail:; Internet:

CONFERENCE ON FOOD SCIENCE AND FOOD BIOTECHNOLOGY IN DEVELOPING COUNTRIES: This conference will take place from 20-23 June 2004 in Durango, Mexico. For more information contact: Instituto Tecnologico de Durango; Internet:

AFRICAN UNION SUMMIT 2004: The 3rd Ordinary Session of the African Union Assembly will take place from 6-8 July in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. For more information contact: African Union Secretariat; tel: +215-1-51-77-00; fax: +215-1-51-78-44; e-mail:; Internet:

CONFERENCE ON CONSUMERS, FARMERS AND FOOD - RECONCILING THE FUTURE: This conference will meet from 5-6 July 2004 in London, UK. It is organized by the Royal Institute of International Affairs (RIIA) in partnership with NewScientist magazine and will address questions concerning how and where food is produced and sourced, how it is transported, and how and where it is sold. For more information contact: Dino Ribeiro, RIIA; tel: +44-20-7957-5753; e-mail:; Internet:

INTERNATIONAL SYMPOSIUM ON SCIENCE & TECHNOLOGY IN AGRICULTURE: CURRENT AND FUTURE: Scheduled to take place from 10-12 July 2004 in Beijing China, this symposium will convene under the theme “Innovation and Development in Agricultural Science and Technology.” For more information contact: The World Food Prize Foundation; tel: +1-515- 245-3783; fax: +1-515-245-3785; e-mail:; Internet:

XI WORLD CONGRESS OF RURAL SOCIOLOGY: This event will take place from 25-30 July 2004 in Trondheim, Norway and will address food security interests under the theme “Globalization, risks and resistance.” For more information contact: Mark Shucksmith, ESRS; tel: +44-1224-273-901; fax: +44-1224-273-902; e-mail:; Internet:

CONFERENCE ON INTEGRATED AGRICULTURAL RESEARCH FOR DEVELOPMENT-ACHIEVEMENTS, LESSONS LEARNT AND BEST PRACTICE: The National Agricultural Research Organization of Uganda invites scientists to submit papers for this conference, which is scheduled to take place from 1-4 September 2004 in Kampala, Uganda. Papers should focus on: understanding people, their livelihood systems, demands and impact of innovations; enhancing innovation process and partnerships; enhancing integrated management of natural resources; technological options that respond to demands and market opportunities; and enabling policies and linking producers to markets. The papers will be developed into best-practice guidelines during the conference. For more information contact: Conference Organizing Committee; tel: +256-77-221-351; fax: +256-41-280-351; e-mail:; Internet:

FIFTH CONGRESS OF THE EUROPEAN SOCIETY FOR AGRICULTURAL AND FOOD ETHICS: Organized by the European Society for Agricultural and Food Ethics, this Congress will take place from 2-4 September 2004 in Leuven, Belgium. The conference seeks to address: ethics as a dimension of animal production and consumption; ethics and sustainability; ethics, world food security and development; and ethics and the biobased economy of the 21st century. For more information contact: tel: +32-1-632-1734; fax: +32- 1-632-1994; e-mail:; Internet:

CONFERENCE ON FOOD SAFETY UNDER EXTREME CONDITIONS: This conference will be held from 6-8 September 2004 in Jaén, Spain to consider small-scale producing units of traditional fermented foods, with a focus on Mediterranean and Sub- Sahelian African countries. For more information contact: Antonio Gálvez del Postigo; fax: +34-9-5301-2141; e-mail:; Internet:

30TH SESSION OF THE FAO COMMITTEE ON WORLD FOOD SECURITY: This meeting is tentatively scheduled for 20-24 September 2004 at FAO headquarters in Rome, Italy. For more information contact: Margarita Flores, Secretary, Committee on World Food Security; e-mail:; Internet:

15TH INTERNATIONAL SYMPOSIUM ON FERTILIZERS AND FERTILIZATION FOR SUSTAINABILITY IN AGRICULTURE: THE FIRST WORLD MEETS THE THIRD WORLD, CHALLENGES FOR THE FUTURE: This symposium will take place from 27-30 September 2004 in Pretoria, South Africa. For more information contact: Lizelle Adams, University of Pretoria; tel: +27-12-420-3879; fax: +27-12-420-3221; e-mail:; Internet:

FIRST INTERNATIONAL ECOAGRICULTURE CONFERENCE AND PRACTITIONERS’ FAIR: Hosted by the World Agroforestry Centre and co-sponsored by the Equator Initiative, UNDP and IUCN, this conference will take place from 27 September to 1 October 2004 in Nairobi, Kenya. For more information contact: Sara J. Scherr, Director, Ecoagriculture Partners; tel: +1-202-223-1313; fax: +1-202-223-3545; e-mail:; Internet:  

2004 WORLD FOOD PRIZE INTERNATIONAL SYMPOSIUM ON RICE: FROM ASIA TO AFRICA, BIOFORTIFICATION AND ENHANCED NUTRITION: This symposium will be held from 14-15 October 2004 in Des Moines, Iowa, US. For more information contact: World Food Prize Foundation; tel: +1-515-245-3783; fax: +1-515-245-3785; e-mail:; Internet:

WORLD FOOD DAY: World Food Day is held annually on 16 October. The theme for 16 October 2004 is “Biodiversity for Food Security.” For more information contact: e-mail:; Internet:

AGROENVIRON 2004 CONFERENCE: ROLE OF MULTI- PURPOSE AGRICULTURE IN SUSTAINING GLOBAL ENVIRONMENT: Convening from 20-24 October 2004 in Udine, Italy, this meeting will focus on sustainable agriculture. For more information contact: AgroEnv; e-mail:; Internet:

CGIAR ANNUAL GENERAL MEETING 2004: The annual general meeting of the Consultative Group on International Agricultural Research (CGIAR) will take place from 25-29 October 2004 in Mexico City, Mexico. For more information contact: CGIAR Secretariat; tel: +1-202-473-8951; fax: +1-202-473-8110; e-mail:; Internet:

WORKSHOP AND FORUM ON GLOBAL ENVIRONMENTAL CHANGE INSTITUTE ON GLOBALIZATION AND FOOD SYSTEMS: This scientific workshop and science-policy forum will be held from 24 October to 6 November 2004 in Nicoya, Costa Rica. It will focus on interactions between globalization and global environmental change and the implications of these interactions for food systems and food security. For more information contact: Inter-American Institute for Global Change Research; tel: +55-12-3945-6856; fax: +55-12-3941-4410; e- mail:; Internet:

18TH INTERNATIONAL CONGRESS OF NUTRITION: NUTRITION SAFARI FOR INNOVATIVE SOLUTIONS: Organized by the International Union of Nutritional Sciences (IUNS), this congress will take place from 19-24 September 2005 in Durban, South Africa. The �nutrition safaris� will precede the main congress in Durban, and entail safari�s or journeys in southern Africa of small groups (20-30) of nutrition scientists and practitioners focusing on a specialized area of nutrition. For more information contact:; Internet:

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