Bangkok, Thailand — AFA, through its policy advocacy officer Ma. Elena Rebagay, is participating in the ASEAN High Level Consultative Meeting on “Integrating Nutrition in ASEAN Integrated Framework on Food Security and its Strategic Plan of Action for Food Security.” The meeting is jointly organized by the ASEAN Secretariat and the UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) on January 29-30, 2013 in Bangkok, Thailand.
The overall goal of this consultation is to provide an opportunity for participants to increase their understanding of agriculture’s role in improving nutrition and intensify dialogue and mutual understanding of each sector’s role in integrating nutrition into the ASEAN Integrated Food Security (AIFS) framework and its processes. Specifically, the meeting hopes to:
- Identify common issues of concern, gaps and needs to address food security and nutrition and to raise awareness among participants on particular value and the contribution of agriculture in improving nutrition;
- Increase understanding on the harmonization of policy, institutional mechanism and governance for improved food security and nutrition; and,
- Integrate best practices and approaches for improving nutrition into the AIFS framework and its processes;
During the consultation, AFA asserted the significant role of women farmers as the frontline players in ensuring nutrition and food security at the household level. Women farmers, as producers, mothers and consumers, are in the best position to articulate the gaps as well as solutions to issues and problems related to nutrition and food security. AFA also affirmed the common sentiment among stakeholders that nutrition and food security cannot be addressed by one agency alone, but should be a multi-stakeholder coordinating mechanism that would ensure the integration and harmonization of various initiatives on nutrition and food security. In line with this, AFA called for institutionalized and meaningful participation of farmers’ organizations representing the concerns of women farmers in various coordination mechanisms and other bodies that look into the design, implementation, monitoring and evaluation programs and policies on nutrition and food security at the local, national, regional and global levels.