16 – 17 May 2019. Bonn, Germany. Federal Office for Agriculture and Food (BLE). “Shaping the nutritional environment to promote a balanced diet (“Food environments for improved nutrition”.The German Ministry for Food and Agriculture (BMEL) promotes the development of “Research Cooperation for Food Security and Nutrition” with agricultural and nutritional research institutions in partner countries and in Germany.
BLE organized a workshop to further specify the topics of the ministry’s third call for proposals and to clarify the research needs in the area of “food environments for improved nutrition” especially for Sub-Saharan Africa and South East Asia. The overall goal is to improve nutrition in the face of the double burden of malnutrition in the partner countries
Participants during the two-day workshop helped the BLE to identify research gaps, research areas which are already sufficiently addressed and essential subsets of research questions to be considered under the following broad themes:
- Consumer markets: access to markets in rural and urban regions, the characteristics of the direct sales environment, questions of supply; the increasing importance of supermarkets.
- Influence of nutrition education on consumer buying decisions and opportunities to optimise both in terms of a healthy diet in the target regions.
- Influence of the structure and shape of food systems on nutrition.
- Importance and use of information and communication technology (ICT) in “food environments”; Is there room for target-group-specific improvements using ICT?
- What are the limits? Under what circumstances do consumer markets fail?
- Which feasible, practical Government interventions to influence food markets and to improve diets (combat the double burden of malnutrition: overweight and obesity as well as stunting and lack of micronutrients) are already implemented? What are their weaknesses and successes with a view to promoting healthy nutrition?
Twenty-nine experts made of eight from Africa, four from South East Asia and rest from German institutions participated in the workshop. FARA was represented by Benjamin Abugri, Knowledge Management & Outreach Officer. The final call is expected to be launched through the German ministry’s website www.ble.de/foodsecurity on July 14 , 2019.