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Agriculture and health sectors must improve communication

Recently, discussion of food security centering on better communication between the sectors of nutrition, agriculture and health took place at the International Conference on Leveraging Agriculture for Improving Nutrition and Health in New Delhi, according to IRIN News.

In particular, the participants of the conference seemed to agree that a stronger link needed to be established between the agriculture and health sectors.

“Health status is …affected by the consumption of goods that directly improve or worsen health. Nutritional status affects health - for example, severe vitamin A deficiencies lead to blindness,” said John Hoddinott, who represented the think-tank International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI), according to the news source.

Women's initiatives, home-grown programs and simple but committed measures were also encouraged at the conference.

As an example of government-initiated commitment to food, Bibi Giyose, advisor at the New Partnership for Africa’s Development (NEPAD), provided evidence in the case of Botswana. Botswana drastically lowered its malnutrition rates by self-funded campaigns promoting food, such as porridge, for children.

Worldwide attention has been focused on food since the January outbreaks of political unrest in Egypt brought attention to global food security issues. However, many African countries are in a constant state of food insecurity as poverty prevents the poor from accessing food, reports the United Nations. 
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