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Knowledge Fair, Inaugural Session Open Malawi conference

2011 September 26

Participants learning and enjoying food at the Knowledge Fair

The "Unleashing Agriculture's Potential for Improved Nutrition and Health in Malawi" conference is officially underway.

After a short press briefing, Mrs. Margret Lwanda officially opened the Knowledge Fair, where NGOs, Ministry agencies, and donors displayed their programs and activities in agriculture, health and nutrition. Attendees appreciated the free samples of nutritious locally available foods.

The afternoon inaugural session set the stage for the conference. Rajul Pandya-Lorch described the four essential building blocks for nutrition-and health-friendly agricultural development, outputs of the New Delhi 2020 Conference: 1) fill the knowledge gap, 2) adopt a "do no harm" approach, 3) seek out and scale up innovative solutions, and 4) create an environment in which cooperation can thrive.

Purna Wasti, Technical Officer (Food and Nutrition Security) at FAO discussed the role the organization is playing in Malawi to tackle food insecurity and under-nutrition. The Minister of Agriculture, Irrigation and Water Development, Hon. Prof. Peter Mwanza, M.P. officially opened launched the conference. He emphasized the need to rejuvenate existing links between the three sectors, and to continue existing and begin new projects to diversify food production, encourage biofortification, and encourage research on a variety of commodities that are rich in nutrients.

The day ended with the first plenary session, "Learning form Global, Regional, and National Perspectives." The discussion outcomes of the first session, along with the other discussion sessions will be described in more detail in a later post.

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