Road Testing Healthy Diets: Perspectives from the Global South

Rome, Italy

The 2019 state of food security and nutrition in the world report (SOFI 2019 report) has shown progress on addressing malnutrition is too slow to achieve the 2025 and 2030 Global Nutrition targets with rising food insecurity preventing us from achieving these targets.

Happening on the side-lines of the Committee on World Food Security (CFS) 46th session, this session will highlight how the CGIAR, with its collective and in-depth research expertise in sustainable food systems, is well placed to help the CFS move the voluntary guidelines forward.  We will present a range of perspectives and evidence-based approaches to key stakeholders operating in the Global South, where some of the largest opportunities exist for the transformation of the world’s food system. This side event is aligned with the CFS theme of “Making a Difference in Food Security and Nutrition” with a specific focus on CGIAR’s three global challenges: sustaining food availability, securing public health and living within planetary boundaries. The session outcomes will provide recommendations and useful examples of proven approaches to those working on CFS policy recommendations in the context of the Sustainable Development Goals and in alignment with the UN Decade for Family Farming and the UN Decade of Action on Nutrition.

Sara Mbago-Bhunu

International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD).

Sara will guide the discussion ensuring perspectives and evidence-based approaches useful for transformation of the world’s food system are shared to help the CFS move the voluntary guidelines forward.

Covic Namukolo

Senior Research Coordinator – International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI).

Covic will highlight the latest SOFI report highlighting the need to act fast, the need for investment and new financing mechanisms.

Ian Barker

Global Program Leader Potato Agri-Food Systems – International Potato Center (CIP)

Ian will highlight the importance of importance of improving farmers’ productivity to improve their incomes and hence access to healthier diets.

Jean Balie

International Rice Research Institute (IRRI)

Jean will focus on market driven change; policy incentives and failures; how to ensure production of quality food that also meets demand (in macro and micronutrients) into 2050.

Ian Wright

International Livestock Research Institute (ILRI)

Ian will discuss role of livestock production for nutrition (esp of target populations) but for income and as insurance/bank. The global South still not consuming sufficient quantities of animal sourced foods compared to what they need (and also as suggested by the EAT Lancet guidelines.

Ekin Birol


Ekin will discuss the inclusivity of food system transformation; gender, youth, smallholders and how to link them to food systems (as producers and as consumers) highlighting some of the mechanisms/tools (e.g., contract farming, digital tech etc) that can be utilized.

18:00 – 18:05 Welcome
18:05 – 18:20 Introduction and overview Covic Namukolo
18:20 – 18:35 Panel Discussion – First round of questions (Moderator and panelists)
18:35 – 18:50 Q&A
18:50 – 19:05 Panel Discussion – Second round of questions
19:05 – 19:15 Key respondents
19:15 – 19:30 Key recommendations and event wrap up