“Hunger, malnutrition, and poor health are widespread and stubborn development challenges. Agriculture has made remarkable advances in the past decades, but progress in improving the nutrition and health of poor farmers and consumers in developing countries is lagging behind. Agricultural practices, interventions, and policies need to be better adapted and redesigned to maximize health and nutrition benefits and to reduce health risks.”
The flagship program on food safety addresses challenging related to the growing need to better understand food safety solutions that can work in informal or formalizing markets. There is an urgent need for technical and institutional solutions to food safety challenges, and broader policy and regulatory approaches to manage food safety risks in dynamic, developing markets. This flagship conducts targeted research on technological and institutional solutions and appropriate policy and regulatory options that align public health goals with country priorities to ensure that food is both safe and equitable for the poor. This flagship focuses primarily on mitigating aflatoxin contamination in key staples and on managing risks in informal markets for nutrient-rich perishables like meat, milk, fish, and vegetables.
Food safety research is organized under three clusters of activities:
- Evidence that Counts generates evidence on questions at the interface of agriculture and foodborne diseases so that key food safety evidence users (donors, academics, INGOs, national policymakers, civil society, and industry) are aware of and use evidence in the support, formulation and/or implementation of pro-poor and risk-based food safety approaches.
- Safe Fresh Foods conducts research on how an institutional innovation known as training & certification (T&C) can improve the quality and safety of fresh foods (initially limited to dairy and meat), in order that market-based food safety innovations, like T&C, are delivered at scale in key countries along with understanding of their impact and appropriate use.
- Aflatoxin Mitigation looks at how use of farm-level mitigation technologies and practices, like good agricultural practices, resistant varieties, and/or biocontrol (aflasafe™), could reduce aflatoxin exposure among consumers with the goal of seeing biocontrol and good agricultural practices delivered at scale in key countries along with understanding of their impact and appropriate use.
Flagship leader: Delia Grace, Program Leader (joint) Animal and Human Health, International Livestock Research Institute (ILRI)
Improving human health
The flagship program on improving human health is an innovative collaboration between public health and agriculture researchers aimed at mitigating health risks and optimizing benefits in agricultural systems. This flagship is led by a joint partnership arrangement co-convened by ILRI and the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, thus bridging agriculture and public health research to deliver high-quality scientific outputs and to identify new key opportunities for integrated actions that improve human health.
Research on improving human health is organized under three clusters of activities:
- Diseases in Agricultural Landscapes concentrates on understanding the health effects of agricultural intensification, including changes in water use, so that agricultural research initiatives, including those in farming communities, are more aware of how and why it is important to measure health risks and benefits.
- Emerging and Neglected Zoonotic Diseases studies shared human and animal disease risks and explores the impacts of co-locating and aligning health and agricultural interventions for effective management so that agricultural and public health policymakers and implementers deliver coordinated and effective solutions to cysticercosis, in particular, and other zoonotic threats; and public and private sector policymakers.
- Global Challenges on Agriculture and Health coordinates research on tackling emerging, common problems for health and agriculture, such as antimicrobial resistance and pesticide resistance, in order for public and private sector policymakers to implement measures to reduce health risks from antimicrobial resistance in hot-spot livestock systems.
Flagship leader: Eric Fèvre, Professor of Veterinary Infectious Diseases, Institute of Infection and Global Health University of Liverpool, joint appointee at ILRI