Monday, November 14, 2011

Knowledge sharing can increase market opportunities

Knowledge sharing can open wider markets, according to experts.
"Regional learning and cooperation can open wider markets, increase access to improved technologies and skills, and encourage sharing of lessons and knowledge about the most effective interventions to achieve food and nutrition security," director of IFPRI’s Development Strategy and Governance Division Paul Dorosh said here today at the technical workshop and conference, 'Knowledge, Tools, and Lessons for Informing the Design and Implementation of Food Security Strategies in Asia.
Country and regional stakeholders from governments, researchers, non-governmental organisations, donors, and the private sector are reviewing and sharing state of the art knowledge, practical lessons, and tools for supporting agriculture and food security strategies in Asia at the three-day workshop from today that ends on November 16.
The workshop is organised by the International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI) and Institute for Integrated Development Studies (IIDS), and supported and funded by the United States Agency for International Development (USAID).
The workshop that aims to bring together stakeholders in the various sub-regions of Asia to review and share knowledge of successful approaches, practical lessons, and tools for supporting agricultural and food security strategies in Asia will allow participants to learn from regional counterparts to address common challenges like population growth, rapid rural-to-urban migration, climate change, food price instability, and undernutrition.
Asia accounts for 59 per cent of the world’s population and is home to more than 68 per cent of poor people living below $1.25 a day. It is an extremely diverse region, and both successful and lagging countries are affected by recurrent crises like poverty, food insecurity, environmental and climatic shocks, and economic and financial turmoil.
The region is recognising the importance of cooperation and dialogue to find solutions to shared problems.
"Following our established role of fostering informed debate and exchange of experiences within and outside the country, we are pleased to co-organise the technical workshop," said executive director of IIDS Bishnu Dev Pant.
In Asia, USAID has active food security, agriculture, and nutrition programs and plays a central role in the President’s Feed the Future (FTF) initiative, the US global hunger and food security initiative.
USAID supports the effort through robust programmes in four Asian FTF focus countries — Cambodia, Nepal, Bangladesh, Tajikistan — and through active food security programming in several non-focus countries throughout the region.
"There is a lot of knowledge within the region," USAID Mission Director in Nepal David Atteberry, said, adding that the region needs to collect and share it, learn what has worked, and put those solutions to work in a regional resource network that can benefit both the country-owned planning process and the development partners involved in food security strategy.
The three-day technical workshop and conference will discuss on implications of growth and transformation on food availability and access science and technology solutions, including climate change adaptation and mitigation options Integrating agriculture and nutrition interventions, and review experiences and lessons of programme design and implementation and approaches, tools, and data systems for monitoring and evaluation.
The mutual learning could accelerate economic growth and catalyse further reductions in poverty and hunger, Dorosh added.

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