On April 8, 2014, INMED President Dr. Linda Pfeiffer joined a UK Parliamentary Roundtable on “Innovative Responses to Global Health and Food Security Challenges,” hosted and chaired by Lord Cameron of Dillington, Chair of the All Party Parliamentary Group for Agriculture and Food for Development, and co-chaired by Sir Richard Feachem, Director of the Global Health Group at the University of San Francisco and University of California Berkeley.
The roundtable was organized to foster dialogue and better understanding of the relationship between health, nutrition and food security, and to explore innovative models for meeting these challenges.
From a wide-ranging discussion among panelists and participants representing government, non-profit, business, academic and multi-lateral organizations and institutions, four major themes and recommendations emerged:
- The complex relationship between health and agriculture—with nutrition and food security as subsets—requires a focus on the integration of critical health, nutrition, food security and climate change issues, supporting and reinforcing work in progress on the post-2015 Sustainable Development Goals, the Grand Convergence in Global Health 2035 and the recommendations of the IPCC Climate Change 2014 report.
- Multi-sector partnerships, investments and solutions, are required to accomplish such a broad and sweeping agenda.
- Innovative, real-world solutions to malnutrition and food security, within the broader human development and environmental context, need to be encouraged and tested.
- More research is needed to document the link between investments in agriculture and improvements in health and nutrition; and at the same time, the testing and scaling of evidence-based innovations in nutritious, sustainable food production need to be supported and encouraged.
Panelists at the roundtable were:
- Dr. Alan Dangour, Head of the Nutrition Group, The London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, speaking about current research and link between nutrition and agriculture
- Dr. Linda Pfeiffer, CEO of INMED Partnerships for Children, speaking about adaptive agriculture and presenting the results of aquaponic production among a wide range of grassroots groups and geographic locations
- Dr. Keith Palmer, Chairman of AgDevCo, speaking about the financing of small- to medium-sized farming enterprises (SMEs) to improve productivity in sub-Saharan Africa