UP professor appointed to international Committee for World Food Security

Posted on September 28, 2010

The CFS (established in 1974) is the foremost international and intergovernmental platform dealing with food security and nutrition. The Committee focuses on global coordination of efforts to eliminate hunger and ensure food security for all. This includes supporting national anti-hunger plans and initiatives; ensuring that all relevant voices are heard in the policy debate on food and agriculture; strengthening linkages at regional, national and local levels; and basing decisions on scientific evidence and state of the art knowledge.

Prof Hendriks was appointed to the Faculty of Agricultural and Natural Sciences in July this year to consolidate food security research at UP and establish a postgraduate programme. The University is already reaping the benefits of her strategic linkages with international and African development and food security experts; development partners; international NGOs; academic institutions and the relationships built with African governments through her engagement in the African Union/NEPAD Programmes. The Department has already received over 20 applications from 11 countries for masters and doctoral degrees for 2011.

According to the CFS Chairperson, Noel de Luna said: "The constitution of the High Level Panel of Experts on Food Security and Nutrition is an essential step toward better decisions on how to fight hunger and malnutrition and promote agricultural and rural development worldwide”. The establishment of the HLPE is viewed as an historic and important moment. The establishing of an independent multi-disciplinary panel of the world’s leading scientists to advise and guide the 192 CFS member countries recognises that solving world hunger and food security require more than political, and often emotive, resolutions. The role of the panel is to identify strategic emerging issues in food security, and help countries prioritise future actions and attentions on key focal areas through the provision of scientific and knowledge-based analysis and advice on specific policy-relevant issues, and analyse the current state of food security and nutrition and its underlying causes.

Supporting food security decision making is not a new domain for Prof Hendriks who has voluntarily led the African Union and New Partnership for Africa’s Development’s Comprehensive African Agricultural Development Programme’s (CAADP) Food Security initiatives since 2006. She led the drafting of the CAADP Framework for African Food Security, a continental action plan that is helping transform African agriculture and ensure that African agricultural investment plans and programmes are effectively addressing hunger and poverty for the most vulnerable populations in Africa. The Framework is significantly influenced by Prof Hendriks’ 19 years of prolific research focussed on understanding household coping strategies and vulnerability.

Her latest appointments to the CFS HLPE and the Global Agriculture and Food Security Programme’s Multi-Donor Trust Fund’s Review Panel will bring more prestige to her new institutional home and offer increasing opportunities to influence the African and international food security agenda.

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