Professor Felix Ankomah Asante, Director of the Institute of Statistical, Social and Economic Research on Thursday, 28th March, 2019 delivered his Inaugural Lecture on the Topic: The Linkage between Agriculture, Nutrition and Health: Issues for Research and Policy. The Vice-Chancellor, Prof. Ebenezer Oduro Owusu, chaired the lecture at the Great Hall, University of Ghana.
In his presentation, Prof. Asante shared important insights on agricultural systems that have grown in complexity due to globalization, trade openness and economic development, highlighting the strong linkage between agriculture, nutrition and health over the years.
He stated that more than 800 million people globally suffered from chronic undernourishment, and this represents about 10.9 percent of the total world population. The number of overweight and obese people are also on the increase.
Professor Asante noted that, where programmes and policies are designed and tailor-made for each sector without considering the linkages that existed among agriculture, nutrition and health, then one needs to listen in to the policy and research issues outcome.
On issues relevant for policy making, Prof. Asante indicated that the complexity of the linkage among agriculture, nutrition and health calls for holistic policy interventions that are multifaceted and transdisciplinary in nature.
He says, changes in crops, farm practices and markets need more attention from policy makers while food supply chain or distribution system needs to be properly monitored and regulated by government.
It is his view that government focuses on the nutrition and health of consumers in a holistic manner and integrates systems to ensure that production is safe and sustainable. He cited that agricultural interventions, with a few exceptions have yet to impact child stunting, underweight, or wasting.
On areas of research available, the lecturer suggested a study on the growing effect of the triple burden of malnutrition in developing countries in the midst of nutrition transition and how sustainable production systems are meeting the demands of a growing population.
Prof. Asante emphasized the need for interdisciplinary research collaborations among scholars at all levels.
Prof. Felix Ankomah Asante is an Agricultural Economist who has written several books and done many research activities in Ghana and other countries and International Organisations.
Prior to delivering his inaugural lecture, a week long exhibition of his scholarly works was mounted at the Balme Library.
There were a number of presentations made to Prof. Asante for his outstanding achievements.
The Lecture was attended by Provosts, Deans, Directors, and members of the University community. Also present were colleagues, students, family members and friends of Prof. Asante, as well as students and Old students of Presbyterian Boys Secondary School, Prof. Asante’s alma mater.
He expressed gratitude to his family especially his wife, all his colleagues, teachers who taught him at Senior High School and the Basic School level, Research collaborators for their support in his academic career. He expressed his gratitude to the university management headed by the Vice Chancellor for creating a conducive and healthy environment for his work.
Click here to view pictures from the inaugural lecture.