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Highlights of the third global nutrition symposium 2019

Improving the livestock system is one of the ongoing global issues all around the world. 

It serves as a mandatory subject in uplifting the economic standard of the country. It is imperative to bring livestock production to sustained development roads to extend our reach for improving human nutrition, health and incomes. There’s a need to intensify smallholders livestock systems with the global thoughts, innovations and research from stable to the table; unravel and eradicate the barriers and develop globally acceptable plans.

With the same motive the 3rd global nutrition symposium entitled “Feed the Future innovation lab for livestock systems extending our reach” was organized by the Institute of Food and Agricultural Science (IFAS) Extension, University of Florida (UF) and the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) on25th and 26thApril 2019 in Kathmandu, Nepal. Many country representatives were united to feed the future innovation lab for livestock.

I attended the program as a Young Professional for Agricultural Development (YPARD) along with my YPARD peers; Mr. Abhishek Khadka, Mr. Subash Belbase, Mr. Bikram Nepali and Miss. Nikee Shrestha. It was wonderful to begin the first day of the symposium by interacting with global representatives. I confronted Dr. Nick Place, Dean and Director of UF as well as Mr. Issa Sawadogo, General Director of the ministry of livestock and fisheries of Burkina Faso and shared our views about the ongoing symposium. Hereby, I was enlightened on the fact that wherever we were from; this symposium brought us together in a place to give a conclusion to the common issue.

The program inaugurated with the remarks of various stakeholders. Several posters, presentations, models and case studies were discussed to develop policies in the total of eight sessions. Ms. Kristen MacNaughtan, Program Officer at Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation marked lack of academics of livestock keepers as a barrier. Dr. Ian Wright, Deputy Director-General for Research and development at Integrated Science, International Livestock Research Institute; added his ambition of inaugurating an organization. Dr. Nick Place, Dean, and Director of the University of Florida (UF) connected finance to research and extensions. Mr. Prakash Mathema, Secretory for Livestock Production and Animal Health, MoALD focused on collaborating researchers, extensionists, farmers, governments, cooperatives and stakeholders to strengthen research on livestock improvement. 

The program run through thorough discussion on introducing frameworks and sharing models for upgrading livestock productivity. Every framework had the vision to achieve public good through communication channels between farmers and governments. Some of them from Nepal was, “Human Nutrition and Income Improvement Researches” by Heifer International and “the impact of pure boar and sannen goat in research and extension” by Nepal Agricultural Research Council (NARC). Similarly, the study from China, “developing the silage industry to alleviate poverty in the semi-arid and hilly region of Loess Plateau” was presented by Prof. Xusheng Guo, Langzhou University

The second day of the symposium started with debates regarding the barriers faced in linking research and extension including both private and public sector. Following the debates, all the members were divided into three groups for parallel discussions. Here, I along with my peers joined the discussion on the theme “Innovative approaches to effectively link livestock research and extension practices”-Being students, we all expressed our views on how this research should collaborate in our studies. The discussion analyzed on bridging research to extension bringing extensionists, researchers, farmers, students and consumers into one loop through technological approaches. 

The two days symposium did not only provide the knowledge-sharing platform but also helped to develop individual capacity in decision making. Meeting new people, getting to interact with people across the world and opening up to them have made me bolder and more confident. I would like to express my deepest gratitude towards the organizers, Dr. Andrea Bohn, Project manager and Lacey Harris Coble, Project/ Research Assistant for Feed the Future Innovation Lab, the University of Florida on behalf of YPARD Nepal for giving us this wonderful opportunity to participate actively and volunteer in the two days event. 

I am very thankful for the support provided by Ms. Nikita Bhusal, my volunteer friends along with my Agriculture and Forestry University (AFU) colleagues who encouraged me in every step. I learned, with global ideas, plans, and joint efforts of everyone, a successful vision can not only be dreamt but also be achieved.

Photo credit: Suvha Shree Sharma