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Highlight: Ensuring food security through cross-border collaboration


On May 26, 2015, IDRC held a roundtable on "Food Security for South Asian Regional Stability," in its Asia Regional Office in New Delhi. In attendance were Theressa de Haan, First Secretary, Political and Economic Affairs, High Commission of Canada in India, and Stewart Beck, President and CEO of the Asia Pacific Foundation of Canada. The roundtable focused on addressing food security issues in South Asia—and in particular India, Pakistan, and Afghanistan—through regional cooperation in trade and development.

Panelists presented options for improving food security, diversifying diets, enhancing fruit shelf life, and creating sustainable rural livelihoods. The discussion highlighted the significance of food production and marketing networks, initiatives to revive micronutrient-rich foods that were prevalent in the 1940s, and viable rural communities and groups such as women's collectives. The roundtable discussion also touched on the need for cross-border project programming, food-production and trade corridors, and mechanisms to store, transport, transform, and export food.

The roundtable, facilitated by K S Murali, Senior Program Officer at IDRC, comprised the following panelists:

  • Iftikhar Ahmed, Chairman, Pakistan Agricultural Research Council  

  • Meera Mishra, Country Coordinator, International Fund for Agricultural Development

  • Deepika Nayar Chaudhery, Deputy Regional Director – Asia, Micronutrient Initiative

  • K. S. Subramanian, Professor, Department of Nano Science & Technology, Tamil Nadu Agricultural University

Learn more about IDRC in Asia.

Read an article on one of the projects discussed at the roundtable: "Reducing post-harvest losses in South Asia's mango orchards."