Nepal Co-hosts Global Symposium on Improving Human Nutrition
In April, Heifer Nepal successfully co-hosted the Global Nutrition Symposium, Extending our Reach: Improving Human Nutrition and Incomes Through Effective Livestock Research and Extension Partnerships. The event was organized by the University of Florida under USAID/Feed the Future Innovation Lab for Livestock Systems. Participants from more than 10 countries included ministry representatives, key policy makers, researchers, public and private sector extensionists, producer organizations and universities.
With funding from USAID and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, the Innovation Lab for Livestock System (LSIL) is managing and implementing projects aimed at sustainably improving animal source food production, marketing and consumption with the broader aim of improving the nutrition, health, incomes and livelihoods of the vulnerable.
The symposium also showcased posters from different organizations under six themes:
- Innovative Approaches Linking Livestock Research and Extension
- Behavior Change and Animal Source Food Consumption
- Policy Directives and Field Realities
- Evaluation of Extension’s Nutrition Efforts
- Partnerships to Improve Human Health and Nutrition through Extension
- Youth, Gender and Livestock Extension Systems
The symposium shared many promising examples of how partnerships between researchers and various types of extension and advisory service providers can increase the production and consumption of nutritious animal-source foods (ASF), and acted as a great platform to develop actions plan to bridge gaps to improve nutrition, health and economic outcomes especially for women and children.
It highlighted the pathways for connecting research and extension services provided by the public and private sector as well as civil society in other countries to foster more effective research delivery and diffusion through partnership.
LSIL Director Dr. Adegbola Adesogan spoke to the importance of government partnerships saying the symposium goal was to engage the senior government ASF, combat hunger, alleviate poverty, build resilience and foster agriculture led economic growth.
Dr. Brian Myers, professor and chair, Department of Agricultural Education and Communication, University of Florida, stressed the need to understand the economics, as well as the social, cultural and behavioral aspects of community for the adoption of new practices.
Heifer Nepal Country Director Dr. Shubh Mahato gave a brief talk on the workings of Heifer in Nepal, and how it has been working closely with University of Florida in various research work and how the results from these researches have been pivotal in developing Feeding support tool and effective mastitis control measure for enhanced dairy animal productivity.
Program Director Neena Joshi presented Heifer Nepal's work in the rural communities. She addressed how Heifer’s Theory of Change alongside the Cornerstones training create a strong base for behavioral change in ASF production and consumption in the existing social system.
Heifer also showcased four informational posters in relation to ASF: 1. Increased milk consumption leads to better child growth and development in rural Nepal 2. Multi-sector community development improves child diet quality relative to other household members more than nutrition training alone in rural Nepal 3. Feeding Support Tool for enhancing dairy animal productivity 4. Effective mastitis control measure for enhancing dairy animal productivity