Recognizing the opportunities and potential solutions presented by Farm to School Programs (F2SP) in addressing the food and nutrition security issues in the region, the Southeast Asian Regional Center for Graduate Study and Research in Agriculture (SEARCA), in partnership with the Asian Farmers Association for Sustainable Rural Development (AFA), held a regional policy forum on 24-25 April 2023 to discuss how the existing school-based food and nutrition programs in the region could be further enhanced or strengthened and made more sustainable and inclusive through the involvement and participation of family farmers.
The forum was conducted through a hybrid format that includes both virtual (via Zoom) and in-person attendees at Crimson Hotel, Alabang, Muntinlupa City, Philippines. It generally aimed to discuss potential policy interventions and courses of action to address the nutrition-education-development nexus through the inclusion of family farmers in new and/or existing school-based food and nutrition programs in Southeast Asia.
Specifically, the forum aimed to:
- Provide an overview of current state of food and nutrition security in Southeast Asia;
- Present ongoing school-based food and nutrition programs being implemented in the region;
- Identify and analyze opportunities and challenges in adopting and/or strengthening farm-to-school models for school-based food and nutrition programs in the region; and
- Develop policy recommendations, identify courses of action, and explore potential areas for collaboration to engage family farmers in school-based food and nutrition programs to ensure their sustainability and inclusiveness.
Photo: (c) AFA