Global Landscapes Forum (GLF)
Francis says the goal of Innov4AgPacific was to strengthen the capacity of the Pacific Island Governments, Farmer and Private Sector Organisations, and Sub-Regional institutions with the focus on people accessing healthy and nutritious food IMAGE: FRIEND
The Innov4AgPacific Project last night hosted an interactive Q&A session in the Global Landscapes Forum (GLF) Bonn Digital Conference 2020: Food In The Time Of Crises (Thursday 4 June).
The session was in partnership with Foundation for Rural Integrated Enterprises & Development (FRIEND) and TraSeable Solutions, and is aligned towards key strategies for ensuring sustainability and scaling-up initiative.
Below is the transcript presentation of Judith Ann Francis, Senior Programme Coordinator for Science and Technology Policy and Project Leader of Innov4AgPacific:
This session is about smart investments, it’s about really making a difference in the lives of Pacific Island people.
We started off with a very long name, Leverage the Development of Pacific Local Food Crops and Fisheries Value Chains which was shortened to, Promoting Nutritious Food Systems and then we coined, Innov4AgPacific Project because we wanted to focus and bring in innovation in the context of agriculture value chain development in the Pacific.
The project goal was to strengthen the capacity of the Pacific Island Governments, Farmer and Private Sector Organisations, and Sub-Regional institutions to develop strategies and programmes, as well as mobilize financing, with the focus on people accessing healthy and nutritious food.
To give you some idea of the context, and we believed that we needed to understand the context before we dived into some of the interventions that we had wanted to focus on.
There is a problem of malnutrition, under nutrition as well as over nutrition, non-communicable diseases is a problem, high death rates – that when we looked at it, we also found that there were multiple policies.
We also observed multiple partners and this was through working in isolation, no cross learning – again the result, little impact.
There is a diversity of Pacific local food crops, it’s not only about the coconut value chain, there’s a need to fulfill multiple needs including improving nutrition outcomes, earning foreign exchange, domestic household income and of course looking at biodiversity and preservation of cultural traditions.
What were the Trade-offs we needed to consider?
Our work showed that there were positive things happening at community and enterprise levels, so in consultation with partners we decided that we needed to go after the low hanging fruits.
We were strongly focused on the link between agriculture, nutrition and income. Income from the value chain development, income from household, income from backyard gardens, etc working across ministries, agencies and developing the collaboration.
What we want to ensure is that the Pacific people in the future, that there is a reduction of non-communicable diseases and increase income. So we took a multi-stakeholder approach, we said analyze, we act and we advocate.
We analyzed in partnership with our partners, we act again in partnership and we advocate in partnership and this session is going to also reinforce how we work by having Sashi Kiran and Kenneth also engaged with us.
Our focus was also on building capacity for change; we trained farm leaders, key experts from our target countries and we brought them to the Netherlands.
They participated in a training called Optimizing the Performance of Producers Organisations, before providing them with technical support and finances also to apply the knowledge in their own organisations, in their own local context.
They were able to analyze their priority value chain, the stakeholders they work with, come up with strategic options, develop programmes for improving their situation and then again, through the work we did with them, we leant valuable lessons.
They continue to train others and we have had the endorsement of the Pacific Island Farmers Organsiation Network.
To View The Full Session: Going To Scale With Smart Investments