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Close the gaps between agriculture, health and nutrition–Indian Prime Minister

During the inaugural session of an international conference in New Delhi that is closing today, Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh called for greater investments to close the gaps in knowledge of how agriculture, nutrition and health are linked. The conference is organized by the International Food Policy Research Institute.

The CGIAR in Action blog reports that  one of these gaps ‘involves complex connections between livestock diseases and human well-being, as reported in the Economist magazine. The article warns that, as food production is intensified in Asia and other regions, this could “create ‘hotspots’, where a huge amount of germs circulate among thriving livestock and human populations, especially near cities.”

‘This is but one part of the “double trouble” signaled by new assessments reported at the conference by scientists from the International Livestock Research Institute (ILRI). The other concerns the enormous impact of livestock diseases on the food and nutrition security of the hundreds of millions of people who depend on farm animals for both food and income.

‘Particularly as the “wild cards” of climate change and rapid urban expansion come into play, ILRI scientists explained, developing countries need to adopt more effective approaches for containing livestock epidemics before they become widespread.’

Read the whole article at CGIAR in Action Blog: Agriculture for improved health and nutrition, 11 February 2011.

Read the article in the Economist: Hots spots: How changing farming habits threaten public health, 10 February 2011.

To follow the conference proceedings, go to the International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI) webpage: Leveraging agriculture for improving nutrition and health.

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