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Chemonics News

News: Chemonics Cracks the Nut in Bangkok

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At the Cracking the Nut Conference in Thailand, our agriculture and food security experts explore innovative solutions to address urban food system challenges.

As cities around the world rapidly grow, so do the needs of urban consumers. To understand these needs and effectively address them, Chemonics and others in the industry are asking: How can we improve the sustainability and food security of urban markets? During the Cracking the Nut Conference, Chemonics will join more than 300 experts from around the globe to discuss the “tough nuts” related to food systems and urban demand and to brainstorm how to crack them.

Hosted this year in Bangkok, Thailand, on March 27 and 28, Cracking the Nut raises awareness of the changing demographics affecting the global demand and supply of food. As a conference sponsor, Chemonics looks forward to leading discussions on the transformation of rural and urban food systems, particularly in developing countries. Through our two conference sessions, our experts will draw from their experiences in the field and reflect on other actors’ efforts in this space.

The conference agenda focuses on best practices in agricultural development under three key themes: scaling technology and innovation for agriculture, improving sustainability and food security in urban markets, and facilitating links from rural to urban parts of a supply chain.

On March 27 at 2:45 p.m. (ICT), our panel discussion features three perspectives on food security challenges in Asia and shares insights from the Rice Bowl Index (RBI). Developed by Syngenta, RBI is an open-data platform that assesses the robustness of food security systems. To expand on food security in urban markets through the lens of the RBI, our session, “Unpacking the Rice Bowl Index on Asian Food Security” includes presentations from Syngenta representatives and David Dyer, Chemonics’ chief of party for USAID’s Sri Lanka Supporting Opportunities for Livelihoods Development project.

On March 28 at 1 p.m. (ICT), our “Ideating Market-driven Solutions for Urban Food Security” innovation session gathers participants to brainstorm “minimum viable products” that address urban food security. From Bangkok to Nairobi, growing cities across the developing world face limited access to nutritious foods. This participatory session, facilitated by Chemonics’ Agriculture and Food Security Practice experts, embraces innovative solutions to this challenge.

“Urbanization will require a fundamental shift in development programming and business strategy to ensure urban food security,” says Agriculture and Food Security Practice Director Rob Henning. “This will require a shift from serving exclusively the needs of smallholder producers and relatively ‘short’ value chains to the needs of urban consumers that live at the end of very long and complex supply chains. We’re excited to present at Cracking the Nut and explore innovative approaches to addressing these needs.”

Are you attending Cracking the Nut? Join us on March 27 and 28 for our sessions and follow the event on social media using #CrkNut17.