Berlin International Green Week

February 3, 2014
Education and Research Institute of Business
The delegation of the Education and Research Institute of Business consisting of the Head of the Research Institute of Economics and Management of Agricultural Production, M.P. Talavyrya, and the Dean of the Faculty of Economics, T. G. Kaminska, visited Berlin International Green Week on January 16-19, 2014. The visit was organised with the assistance of the Head of the project “German-Ukrainian Agri-Political Dialogue”, Volker Sasse. In the framework of the project “Public and Private Sector: Partnership For Strong Agriculture” the delegation together with the Federal Ministry of Food, Agriculture and Consumer Protection of Germany outlined promising areas for further research.
Ukrainian deputation was also invited to a reception at the Embassy of Ukraine in Germany, where they were welcomed by the Ambassador, Pavlo Klimkin. He outlined main activities of the Embassy and noted that such events contribute to the development of cooperation between Ukraine, Germany and other partner countries.
The delegation attended opening of the Ukrainian stand which was conducted by the Deputy Minister of Agrarian Policy and Food of Ukraine, O.V. Sen’ and also participated in the international panel discussion of the World Economic Forum “Agriculture and Food Security”. Participants from more than 69 countries took part in the negotiations. The main issues discussed at the Forum were as follows:
1.                   The role of global food system in ensuring food supplies.
2.                   Malnutrition and food systems change.
3.                   Agricultural production for improved nutrition.
4.                   Food production and marketing chains for improved nutrition.
5.                   Help in improving nutrition.
6.                   Problems of nutrition and institutional and political world environment.
It was stressed that good nutrition is the foundation of health, physical and mental development and economic performance. State of nutrition is a key indicator of general human and economic development. Global economic productivity losses connected with malnutrition and deficiency of nutrient minerals are more than 10% of total life income and approximately 2-3% of GDP, which is USD $1.4 - 2.1 trillion. At the same time, obesity is associated with lower productivity and higher medical expenses because of accompanying non-contagious diseases such as diabetes or cardio-vascular diseases. Losses caused by non-contagious diseases are estimated to amount to USD $ 47 trillion during the next two decades (approximately USD $ 1.4 trillion annually).
During discussions, it was emphasised that there exists direct and indirect evidence of causal and synergy relations between food, agriculture and nutrition which allows to assume that agri-food sector can play major role in reducing malnutrition and that drastic policy measures in this sector can improve current situation, especially if they are accompanied by additional measures in the fields of education, health, and social protection. However, knowledge about numerous nutrition and food security issues remains incomplete. Many countries lack basic indicators necessary to assess and monitor the situation. Measures in the agricultural sector are hard to assess and there still remains a huge range of unsolved issues such as effectiveness of households, role of gender factor, agronomic component, technological innovations, biodiversity and potential of local food products in transition from one nutrition system to another. The roles of trade, investments and market structure are also controversial issues. Further research on connections between nutrition and behavioural change, food policy and nutrition, food, healthy diet and consumption is vital.
The nature of problems connected with malnutrition is getting more complicated, although it should be mentioned that food vulnerability, malnutrition and exhaustion were recently significantly reduced. However, in some areas such as Africa, sub-Saharan Africa, and Southeast Asia, these problems are still common. Social and economic losses due to malnutrition, micronutrient deficiency and overweight are high and their economic cost amounts to 2.3% of GDP in the developing countries.
Extent of malnutrition decreases when per capita income grows and when food systems are transformed. In order to solve nutrition problems it is crucial to understand the nature of food systems and identify the key starting points.
It was determined that agriculture contributes to improving nutrition by increasing supply and economic availability of food. The traditional role of agriculture (creating incomes and reducing food prices) will keep its key importance in the coming decades. Agricultural policy should be focused on creating necessary conditions and stimulating production with the help of market momentum. Priorities for research and developments in agriculture should include sustainable intensification of food production with emphasis on nutrient-rich products such as legumes, fruit, vegetables and animal products. It is necessary to devote efforts to conduct diversification among small manufacturers particularly through integrated farming systems. In any case, measures introduced in agriculture will be effective as they have favourable effect on the cycle of economic growth, as well as reduce poverty, improve nutrition and health.
Traditional and modern food production- marketing chains are changing rapidly aiming at providing consumers with a wide range of products. Understanding the essence of these chains can help to adopt more effective measures. Traditional production-marketing chains are the main channel through which low-income consumers in urban and rural areas receive food. Growing effectiveness of these chains will improve nutrition by increasing access to safe, nutrient-rich food products. Also, these chains play an important role in maintaining nutrient composition of food, increasing year-round supply and economic availability of a wide range of products.
Results of measures taken in the nutrition field also depend on consumer s’ choice. Governments perform dominant role in formation of food environment and providing consumers with knowledge and information necessary to opt for a healthy diet. Education on nutrition will be effective when it includes public information campaigns. Such incentives can significantly influence consumers’ behaviour and the results in the field of nutrition.
Successful management of food systems at all levels supported by political initiatives is quintessential for implementation of strategies basing on actual data and coordination of interaction through integrated intersectoral actions.
We would like to express our gratitude to Mr. Volker Sasse and experts Maria Yaroshko and Marianna Nazarenko who made it possible for us to attend this international event.
M.P. Talavyrya, Head of the Research Institute of Economics and Management of Agricultural Production
T.G. Kaminska, Dean of the Faculty of Economics
From left to right: Volker Sasse, Head of the Head of the project “German-Ukrainian Agri-Political Dialogue”; Tetyana G. Kaminska, Dean of the Faculty of Economics; Oleksandr D. Tyovs, Head of the German Agricultural Centre in Kazakhstan; Mykola P. Talavyrya, Head of the Research Institute of Economics and Management of Agricultural Production. 


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