682. Seminar "The application of science and traditional knowledge to foster the utilization of foods obtained from local landscapes for improved nutrition and livelihoods" Report
The international nutrition seminar, The application of science and traditional knowledge to foster the utilization of foods obtained from local landscapes for improved nutrition and livelihoods, was successfully held last week on December 12.
The seminar featured speakers who are experts in promoting the use of traditional and local foods, genetic resource conservation and utilization that contribute to improved nutrition and income in Africa and Asia. The seminar was held in a hybrid format, and during the question and answer session, participants engaged in a lively exchange of ideas on how to maximize the potential of local food diversity in meeting the nutritional, environmental, and economic needs of target communities, while preserving the diversity and cultural value of genetic resources.
Speakers working on the development of food and nutrition assessment systems raised the issue of nutritional problems caused by the loss of agricultural diversity due to globalization of the food system and the policy bias caused by the undervaluation of traditional and local foods that are important in nutrition assessment and intervention. Examples of activities in communities to promote traditional leafy vegetables in Kenya and research using biotechnology to promote the use of orphan crops to improve nutrition and health functions were also presented. The economic and development specialists proposed an integrated approach that takes a multifaceted view of the problems faced by traditional vegetables and combines not only the supply side, such as improving productivity, but also the demand side, such as expanding opportunities for use of traditional vegetables and improving their acceptability.
Due to the globalization of the food system over the past few decades, it is estimated that 75% of the world's food is dependent on 12 crop species and 5 livestock species. Restoring agricultural diversity is necessary not only to improve the resilience of the food system, but also for the supply of nutritious food. One of the speakers referred to local food as the future super food, and this seminar provided an opportunity for participants to share their awareness of the need to mainstream local food in policy and scientific discussions.
Contributors: IIYAMA Miyuki (Information Program), NAKASHIMA Kazuo (Food Program), HOSHIKAWA Ken (Biological Resources and Post-harvest Division), KANAMORI Norihito (Information and Public Relations Office)