Re-Focusing the Priorities of the ISPP Task Force on Global Food
thoughts and views of a serving committee member – Chry
- Introductory Remarks
The need and formation of the task
Activities from Bangkok meeting and
review of current status of each
public policy –
training in developing countries -
Quantification of losses -
training in disease management -
- Global versus Regional Focus
Security is indeed a global concern. To make a meaningful impact however, ISPP
will have to address the issue within a regional focus.
The 3 most
vulnerable regions of concern are:
Sub Sahara Africa
(Farmer training….pilot project for cassava) of the ISPP Task Force endorsed and
initiated during the Bangkok meeting of 1999 has a country or national focus
within one of the above regions.
To make a
real impact in global food security, I propose that the ISPP task force re-focus
its efforts in this area and identify a workable disease-related project or
projects within these 3 vulnerable regions that are having a serious problem
with food security. One or two countries from each region could become the
initial focus of the regional activities.
(The above is the basis of my brief submission to the
Congress Challenge on Global Food Security).
North/South and/or Developed/Developing
Activity 2, which unfortunately
never took off, had this orientation even though with a PhD training focus. This
was because of the recognition by members that a focused and directed education
was critical to meeting the food security needs of the developing/southern
Along the above lines, I propose
that the committee re-focus its efforts in encouraging training of researchers
from the south with ways of resettling them upon completion. One way to
discourage “de-camping” after graduation would be an undertaking to return and
serve for a specified period before deciding to move on.
The other problem is that of
donor aid projects and lack of continuation after the project ends. There is
need to explore and establish ways of project continuation into the extension
phase after the donor project is ended. This may partly explain why impact is
hardly noticed after project comes to an end.
Sabbatical Focus – Scholarly
exchanges in form of sabbaticals should be encouraged. There is no better way to
render field training than in the field. Wherever possible, research projects
should be carried out in the field countries rather than try to export research
from north to south.
- Collaboration between and within National
very limited collaboration in any form between societies in activities related
to global food security. When one considers the non-recognition of borders by
pathogens and the regional impact of certain major diseases, one can only wonder
why this need is not being actively addressed.
consider in this regard may include those of quarantine. Are these real or just
artificially raised to become a hindrance to national and even regional
collaboration between societies in addressing common food security concerns? Is
there a role for the committee in enhancing this needed collaboration?
A lot was
said and raised in the recent web satellite forum on bio-terrorism, especially
as concerns quarantine issues. Is there anything we can learn from these
discussions to improve and enhance the collaboration between and even within
national societies that would help in achieving food security, at national,
regional and global levels?
- Continued Relevance of the Task
to see that ISPP is committed to the task force approach in addressing the
concern of global food security, as evidenced by the congress challenge to mark
this 8th congress.
to be relevant, I would suggest that ISPP reviews the composition of the task
force taking into consideration, among other things;
institutional representation and
donor or funding
societies within the suggested regional areas of focus in 2 above, should
consider setting up sub-task forces aimed at addressing issues of global food
security within the focused regions. This may be a way of starting to also
address issues of regional and national collaboration as raised in point 3
above context the task force committee basically would serve as an overseeing
board to make sure that regional issues to achieve food security are addressed.
Regional and institutional reps would thus serve as coordinators of these
regional sub-task forces.
agenda should be set up by the task force, with clear and specific
objectives. A timetable to address
or achieve each of the objectives should also be included.
- The Way Forward
come a long way in our approach, but a lot still needs to be done to have an
impact, as a society, on global food security. The challenge has been given to
us the task force committee by the society.
suggest again that we come up here with a revised timetable having clear
deadlines to meet whatever targets we agree on from the activities we decide to
adopt for the next 3 or 5 years.
of meetings either physically or electronically will need to be reviewed and
increased in order to make a meaningful impact in our exchange of ideas. The
Task Force should explore means of meeting every other year, if not possible for
obvious reasons, to do so yearly.
I hope the
above do raise one or two pointers for further discussion and