October 2020
The importance of resilient food systems has been made increasingly clear by the Covid-19 pandemic. As the virus has spread globally, it has aggravated food insecurity and exposed vulnerabilities in agri-food value chains.

Recently on the Farming First blog, food and agricultural experts have provided insights into coping with such crises and strengthening food systems, including the importance of micronutrient resilience, how to empower African women pastoralists and ways to promote digital adoption in agriculture. We have also summarised key takeaways from the 2020 African Green Revolution Forum (AGRF) Summit.


In Eastern Africa, it is traditionally a mother’s role to secure the family’s well-being – a task that requires money. However, many women do not have an income of their own and often struggle to obtain the money they need. In this Expert Views blog post, Meron Yomcwiny, Project Coordinator at Farm Africa, explains how a livestock rearing project is helping pastoralist women to earn their own incomes and better support their families.  
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While resilience is a common focus within the global development sector, micronutrient resilience – or the ability to withstand dietary diversity shocks – is often overlooked. In this Expert Views blog post, Lynn Brown, Director of Alliances and Policy at HarvestPlus, investigates how nutritional resilience can help vulnerable populations affected by lost income or food system disruptions.
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Although the use of digital tools is lower in agriculture than in other sectors, internet connectivity is increasingly penetrating rural areas around the world. J. Nicolas Hernandez-Aguilera, Postdoctoral Research Scientist at the International Research Institute for Climate and Society (IRI), explores how digital tools could empower more than 170 million smallholder farmers with knowledge and information in this Expert Views article.
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In Africa, the Covid-19 pandemic has exacerbated hunger levels and disrupted connections between urban and rural areas. ‘Feed the Cities, Grow the Continent: Leveraging Urban Food Markets to Achieve Sustainable Food Systems in Africa’ was the theme of this year’s AGRF Summit, which discussed issues around strengthening food systems to ensure food security across the continent.
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This year, the World Food Prize Foundation’s Borlaug Dialogue will take place virtually between 12-16 October. Farming First is back again as the event's media partner and will deliver fresh content around the theme, ‘Breaking New Ground – Building Resilience Today for Improved Global Food Systems Tomorrow’, including views from global experts around sustainability, equity and resilience in agri-food systems.
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Ahead of the World Food Prize Foundations’s 2020 Borlaug Dialogue, we have curated some conversations from last year’s event about the crucial role of agriculture in advancing the Sustainable Development Goals and how to tackle challenges on the horizon.
How can agriculture help boost economic growth in developing countries?
with Mark Green, USAID Administrator
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Why is agriculture so important for the SDGs?
with Stephanie Mercier, Agricultural Policy Consultant
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How can we overcome the challenges facing the seed industry?
with Josephine Okot, Managing Director of Victoria Seeds
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Photo credits: Chris de Bode / Panos Pictures, HarvestPlus, Jacquelyn Turner (IRI/CCAFS), African Green Revolution Forum, World Food Prize Foundation 


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