Stakeholders working and interested in the field of agricultural science and international development are being invited to a high-level discussion exploring how the COVID-19 pandemic has affected food security for millions of people around the world.

A panel of experts – including senior representatives from the African Union, China Agricultural University, Ministry of National Food Security and Research, Pakistan, Ministry of Agriculture and Livestock (MAL), Zambia, and CABI – will meet to generate insights, opinions and lessons learned, focusing on how to sustain food security even amidst a global shock.

The webinar will take place between 8.30am and 10.00am GMT on Thursday 25 November 2021 – as part of CABI’s mission to help countries, particularly CABI’s Member Countries, to develop quick recovery plans from the pandemic and to ensure a better response to future events which may affect food security. The event is being organised by CABI and its online news service SciDev.Net. You can register for the webinar here.

Ruth Douglas, Deputy Editor at SciDev.Net, will provide a welcome and introduce the panellists before Dr Daniel Elger, CEO CABI, will make opening remarks. Opening statements will then be made by the panellists and a moderator-led discussion will follow to close the event.

The panellists are:

• Shenggen Fan, Chair Professor and Dean, Academy of Global Food Economics and Policy, China Agricultural University and former director, International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI);

• Tariq Khan, Adviser and Director General, Ministry of National Food Security and Research, Pakistan

• H.E. Josefa Leonel Correia Sacko, African Union Commissioner for Rural Economy and Agriculture

• Moses Mwale, Director of Agriculture, Ministry of Agriculture and Livestock (MAL), Zambia

• Neil Willsher, Global Director for Value Chains and Trade, CABI

The panellists will discuss issues including policy measures and institutional linkages, agricultural innovations and research, the impact of climate change, hunger and obesity, meeting the needs of vulnerable populations, and food value chains, infrastructure and mobility in times of pandemic.

Dr Elger said, “While the COVID-19 pandemic is an undoubted health crisis, what has been less discussed is the devastation it has caused to food systems, endangering food security in many countries, particularly in the Global South. There are now clear lessons from the pandemic, especially on weaknesses in food supply chains and social protection.

“CABI sees this event as an important opportunity to explore insights, opinions and lessons learned on how to sustain food security amidst a global shock, to ask which policies and interventions have the greatest impact, and to explore how best to strengthen our resilience to, and preparedness for, future shocks.”

Additional information

See CABI’s statement on the COVID-19 pandemic and the relevant news story ‘CABI’s 401st Executive Council focuses on partnership with Member Countries in the battle against the COVID-19 pandemic.’

About SciDev.Net

SciDev.Net is the world’s leading source of reliable and authoritative news, views and analysis on information about science and technology for global development.

Its mission is to help ensure that science and technology has a central role and positive impact on sustainable development and poverty reduction in the global South. SciDev.Net is currently owned by the Centre for Agriculture and Biosciences International (CABI).

While its main office is based in the UK, SciDev.Net has a worldwide network of staff, registered users, advisors, consultants and freelance journalists, predominantly from developing countries, who drive its activities and vision.

About CABI

CABI is an international not-for-profit organization that improves people’s lives by providing information and applying scientific expertise to solve problems in agriculture and the environment.

Through knowledge sharing and science, CABI helps address issues of global concern such as improving global food security and safeguarding the environment. We do this by helping farmers grow more and lose less of what they produce, combating threats to agriculture and the environment from pests and diseases, protecting biodiversity from invasive species, and improving access to agricultural and environmental scientific knowledge. Our 49 Member Countries guide and influence our core areas of work, which include development and research projects, scientific publishing and microbial services.

We gratefully acknowledge the core financial support from our member countries (and lead agencies) including the United Kingdom (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office), China (Chinese Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Affairs), Australia (Australian Centre for International Agricultural Research), Canada (Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada), Netherlands (Directorate-General for International Cooperation, and Switzerland (Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation). Other sources of funding include programme/project funding from development agencies, the fees paid by our member countries and profits from our publishing activities which enable CABI to support rural development and scientific research around the world.