Virtual 2 Open Special Session
Oct 28, 2020 08:55 AM - 11:00 AM (Africa/Harare) Switch to local time
20201028T0855 20201028T1100 Africa/Harare WaterNet, Water Research Commission, University of KwaZulu-Natal & SHEFS Joint Special Session

Part 1: Reinforcing the role of underutilized indigenous and traditional crops: Linking Water, Agriculture, Nutrition and Health 

Part 2: Way forward for the SADC Water Agenda Post Covid-19: Feedback from the joint WaterNet and Water Research Commission Webinars

Conveners: SADC WaterNet, Water Research Commission & Centre for Transformative Agricultural and Food Systems of the University of KwaZulu-Natal

Part 1

Background: The current food system is centred around a few cash crops and does not fully recognise the value of neglected and underutilised crop species (NUS). This lack of agro-biodiversity (crop variety) is contributing to increasing rates of food insecurity and malnutrition, growing socio-economic challenges for rural smallholder farmers, and also making the country vulnerable to future shocks from climate change and environmental issues.

Whereas southern Africa's water scarcity, food, nutrition and health challenges are well-documented, efforts to address them have often been disconnected. Given that the region continues to be affected by poverty, food and nutrition insecurity at national and household levels, there is a need for a paradigm shift in order to effectively deliver on the twin challenges of food and nutrition security under conditions of water scarcity. There is a need to link water use in agriculture to achieve food and nutrition security outcomes for improved human health and well-being. Currently, there are no explicit linkages between water, agriculture, nutrition and ...

Virtual 2 21st WaterNet/WARFSA/GWPSA Symposium waternet@waternetonline.org

Part 1: Reinforcing the role of underutilized indigenous and traditional crops: Linking Water, Agriculture, Nutrition and Health 

Part 2: Way forward for the SADC Water Agenda Post Covid-19: Feedback from the joint WaterNet and Water Research Commission Webinars

Conveners: SADC WaterNet, Water Research Commission & Centre for Transformative Agricultural and Food Systems of the University of KwaZulu-Natal

Part 1

Background: The current food system is centred around a few cash crops and does not fully recognise the value of neglected and underutilised crop species (NUS). This lack of agro-biodiversity (crop variety) is contributing to increasing rates of food insecurity and malnutrition, growing socio-economic challenges for rural smallholder farmers, and also making the country vulnerable to future shocks from climate change and environmental issues.

Whereas southern Africa's water scarcity, food, nutrition and health challenges are well-documented, efforts to address them have often been disconnected. Given that the region continues to be affected by poverty, food and nutrition insecurity at national and household levels, there is a need for a paradigm shift in order to effectively deliver on the twin challenges of food and nutrition security under conditions of water scarcity. There is a need to link water use in agriculture to achieve food and nutrition security outcomes for improved human health and well-being. Currently, there are no explicit linkages between water, agriculture, nutrition and health owing to uncoordinated efforts between agricultural and nutrition scientists. An argument for the need to utilise the region's agrobiodiversity, in the form of underutilised indigenous and traditional crops, for addressing dietary quality and diversity has emerged. Mainstreaming of NUS in the food system could help to address these issues. This means facilitating and incentivising production of NUS by smallholder farmers, so they not only achieve subsistence, but also have a surplus to sell, upscaling value chains to facilitate their marketing and distribution, and in doing so, incorporate NUS into the current food system so they are given equal importance to major commercial crops. 

Primary Objectives

The primary objective of this special session is to reveal the important role that neglected and underutilised crop species (NUS) can play in creating a sustainable food system in southern Africa that:

  • ensures sustainable and healthy food for its people
  • addresses malnutrition and food insecurity; vulnerability to climate change and environmental issues; and socioeconomic issues facing South Africa; and
  • brings about inclusivity and equity in the food system 

Programme (Time in SAST)

09:00 – 09:20 am
Linking underutilized crops to addressing food, nutrition and health challenges in southern Africa
Prof. Maud Muchuweti, University of Zimbabwe
09:20 – 09:40 am
Post COVID-19: reinforcing the role of underutilised crops in strengthening local food systems
Prof Alan Dangour, London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine
09:40 - 10:00 am
Conserving and promoting a wider use of biodiversity for food and nutrition security
Prof Festo Massawe, University of Nottingham in Malaysia
10:00 – 10:20 am
Linking underutilised crops to supporting sustainable and inclusive socio-economic development
Prof Zerihun Tadele, University of Bern, Switzerland
10:20 – 10:30 am
Q&A
Prof Mpandeli/Prof Mabhaudhi

Part 2

The rapid spread of the COVID-19 pandemic since late 2019 has had some impacts on social, economic and political activities worldwide. During June and July 2020, Waternet and Water Research Commission convened three webinars on impacts of Covid-19 in the SADC Water Sector. The webinars focused on the impact of Covid on capacity building activities, the research agenda and the water-energy- food (WEF) nexus in the SADC region. In addition, the webinars also sought to propose measures needed for effective response to identified impacts at all levels (Member States, River Basins and Regional scales). Emerging from the webinars was the extent the Covid-19 pandemic had affected planned research and capacity building activities in the region. In addition, the webinars also highlighted how the SADC Water Sector had responded to the pandemic under the circumstances and the need for well-coordinated initiatives to enable rapid response for water research, development and innovation (RDI) post Covid-19. The session is aimed at providing feedback to the SADC Water community on the key highlights of the webinars and to suggest a way forward with regards to future planning and implementation of the SADC research agenda to improve the sector's resilience and preparedness for future pandemics. This feedback will be used to develop a publication on 'The impacts of Covid-19 on the SADC Water Agenda' and the session will serve to establish a team and roadmap for development of the publication. 


Programme 

10:30 – 10:32 am


Introduction
Dr T.P. Chibarabada, WaterNet
10:32 – 10:47 am
Feedback from the 'Implications of Covid19 on the SADC Water Agenda' webinars
Prof. J Kileshye Onema, WaterNet
10:47 – 10:55 am
Way forward: Position Paper for the SADC Water Sector Post Covid -19
Dr M. Tlhagale, Water Research Commission
10.55 – 11.00 am
Wrap up
Dr T.P. Chibarabada, WaterNet



Water Research Commission
Executive Manager: Water Utilisation in Agriculture
University of KwaZulu-Natal
Co-Director: Centre for Transformative Agricultural and Food Systems
Professor of Crop Science, University of Nottingham
London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine
Speaker
WaterNet Trust
Executive Manager
+ 1 more speakers. View All
WaterNet
Moderator
Prof. Sylvester Mpandeli
Water Research Commission
Executive Manager: Water Utilisation in Agriculture
Prof. Tafadzwa Mabhaudhi
University of KwaZulu-Natal
Co-Director: Centre for Transformative Agricultural and Food Systems
University of Nottingham Malaysia
PhD Candidate
Mrs. Christine Cuénod
Friends of UKZN Agriculture
Networking Facilitator
Minstry of water resources development
research student
Mr. Chewe Chishala
Water Resources Management Authority
Speaker
Ms. Jagedeswari  Marriappan
GEC
Senior Programme officer
+ 48 more attendees. View All