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Objective

Food safety is recognized as a universal public health concern. Enormous economic and human resources are invested globally to ensure that there is a safe food supply. However, most of these resources are focused on improving food safety through the reduction of harm from chemical and microbial contaminants present in foods, rather than on the safety of the foods themselves. The ILSI Research Foundation addresses this challenge by providing information resources and capacity building activities for scientists, regulators and the public focusing particularly on the safety assessment of foods and feeds derived from GE plants.

Collaborators & Partners

U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), USDA Foreign Agricultural Service, Canadian Grains Council, CropLife International, Indonesian National Agency for Food and Drug Control, Indonesian Center for Animal Research and Development, Estel Consult Ltd. and DuPont Pioneer 

Areas of Focus

The ILSI Research Foundation is focused on the following activities related to genetically engineered (GE) food and feed safety assessments:

Crop Composition Database

The ILSI Crop Composition Database contains over 972,000 data points on the natural composition variability of conventionally grown crops that can be used to assess similarities and differences in important nutrients and anti-nutrients.

e-Learning Courses

The ILSI Research Foundation has developed e-Learning courses that focus on how basic decisions are made regarding food safety and how problem formulation can be used in assessments to ensure they are fit for purpose.

GE Food Safety Capacity Building

Understanding the need for technical capacity building for food safety assessment, the ILSI Research Foundation shares its knowledge and scientific expertise by facilitating regional workshops and developing and disseminating reference materials.

Resources

Newsletters

Find out about the work being done by the ILSI Research Foundation by reading our monthly e-newsletter.

e-Learning

e-Learning courses have been developed by the ILSI Research Foundation that focus on food safety.

OECD Task Force on the Safety of Novel Foods and Feeds

Paris, France

The OECD Task Force on the Safety of Novel Foods and Feeds, for which the ILSI Research Foundation is a recognized observer organization, works on technical issues related to the food safety of novel foods and feeds, including the products of agricultural biotechnology.

Read more

Phase II: GE Food/Feed Safety Assessment Training

Newark, DE, USA

The ILSI Research Foundation organized a five-day training program at the Stine Haskell Research Facility in Wilmington, DE to observe how food and feed safety assessment data is collected in the laboratory.

Read more

Phase I: GE Food/Feed Safety Assessment Training

Bogor, Indonesia

The ILSI Research Foundation conducted a three-day technical training program in Bogor, Indonesia for participants to engage in practical exercises highlighting the fundamental concepts employed in food and feed safety assessments of genetically engineered (GE) crops.

Read more

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			Overview		
			Agenda		
			Registration		
				Overview
				

ILSI Research Foundation and Food and Agriculture Global Practice, World Bank are very pleased to announce the scientific symposium: Protected Production of Fruits and Vegetables for Nutrition Security in Urban and Peri-Urban Environments. Fruits and vegetables play an essential role in nutritious diets and are key to addressing health and nutritional challenges. Increasing productivity to meet growing demand is challenged by the impacts of climate change and competition for essential natural resources. Ensuring the sustainability of the fruit and vegetable supply cannot be achieved without implementation of climate smart adaptation and mitigation interventions.

Ranging from inexpensive, simple polytunnels to high-cost, high-technology production platforms, protected systems for fruit and vegetable production offer viable alternatives to rainfed, open-field cultivation of these high value, nutritious crops. Protected cultivation, particularly in low and middle income countries, has been proposed as a way to adapt production to climate volatility while also increasing supply. However, protected cultivation techniques are not suitable to all climatic conditions, or all fruit and vegetable crops. Startup costs can be prohibitive, particularly for small-holders, and profitability requires higher quality and yields, access to markets, and/or higher selling prices.

This scientific symposium will explore how protected cultivation of fruits and vegetables can be used to provide a reliable, affordable, and sustainably produced supply of nutrient dense foods, with an emphasis on production opportunities in urban and peri-urban settings.

Agenda
Time Topic Presenter
1:00 pm Welcome and Introductions Juergen Voegele, Ph.D.
Senior Director, Agriculture Global Practice, The World Bank Group

Morven McLean, Ph.D.
Executive Director, ILSI Research Foundation

1:15 pm Protected Cultivation of Fruits and Vegetables: Opportunities and Challenges Elizabeth Mitcham, Ph.D.
Director, Feed the Future Innovation Lab for Horticulture, University of California, Davis
1:30 pm Projected Impacts of Climate Change on Fruit and Vegetable Production Globally Through to 2050 TBD
1:55 pm Life Cycle Assessment of Fruit and Vegetable Production, Including Protected Systems Greg Thoma, Ph.D.
Professor, Bates Teaching Endowed Professorship in Chemical Engineering, University of Arkansas
2:20 pm Break
2:45 pm Controlled Environment Agriculture: The Technological Suite of Opportunities and Constraints Richard Rosen, Ph.D.
Chief Executive Officer, American Ag Energy
3:10 pm Integrated Production Systems for Nutritional Security and More Jobs Per Drop for Smallholder Farmers Under Climate Change in the MENA Region Jacques Wery, Ph.D.
Director General, International Center for Agricultural Research in the Dry Areas (ICARDA)

Azaiez Ouled Belgacem, Ph.D.
Regional Coordinator, International Center for Agricultural Research in the Dry Areas (ICARDA)

3:35 pm The Importance of Climate-Smart Horticulture in Urban and Peri-Urban Areas of the Global South: Policy Challenges and Interventions Gordon Prain, Ph.D.
Global Coordinator (retired), Urban Harvest, CGIAR Global Program on Urban and Peri-Urban Agriculture
4:00 pm Panel Discussion with Presenters

Q&A

Erick Fernandes, Ph.D.
Global Lead - Technology, Innovation, and Climate Smart Agriculture, Agriculture Global Practice, The World Bank Group

Geeta Sethi, Ph.D.
Adviser and Global Lead - Food Loss and Waste, Agriculture Global Practice, The World Bank Group

4:50 pm Summary Remarks Eija Pehu, Ph.D.
Board of Trustees, ILSI Research Foundation
Registration


The event is open to the public and free of charge. However, space is limited. Reserve your seat today to attend the symposium in person or online through live webcast.
  • We will be sending event information and updates (such as instructions for accessing the building and links to the livestream) via email. By registering below, you are consenting to receiving these electronic communications.
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Speakers

At A Glance Erick Fernandes, Ph.D. Morven McLean, Ph.D. Elizabeth Mitcham, Ph.D. Eija Pehu, Ph.D. Richard Rosen, Ph.D. Gordon Prain, Ph.D. Geeta Sethi, Ph.D. Greg Thoma, Ph.D. Juergen Voegele, Ph.D. Jacques Wery, Ph.D. At A Glance
Erick Fernandes, Ph.D.
Agriculture Global Practice,
The World Bank Group
Morven McLean, Ph.D.
ILSI Research Foundation
Elizabeth Mitcham, Ph.D.
Feed the Future Innovation Lab for Horticulture, UC, Davis
Eija Pehu, Ph.D.
ILSI Research Foundation
Gordon Prain, Ph.D.
Urban Harvest (retired)
CGIAR Global Program on Urban and Peri-Urban Agriculture
Richard Rosen, Ph.D.
American Ag Energy
Geeta Sethi, Ph.D.
Agriculture Global Practice,
The World Bank Group
Greg Thoma, Ph.D.
University of Arkansas
Juergen Voegele, Ph.D.
Agriculture Global Practice,
The World Bank Group
Jacques Wery, Ph.D.
International Center for Agricultural Research
in the Dry Areas (ICARDA)
Erick Fernandes, Ph.D.

Dr. Erick Fernandes holds a B.S. in Forestry from the University of Aberdeen and a Ph.D. in Soil Science from North Carolina State University. He was appointed as an International Professor of Crop and Soil Sciences at Cornell University (1995-2005) with research and teaching programs on tropical agroecosystems, cropping systems, and agroforestry. At Cornell, he also served on the Program Committee of Cornell’s International Institute for Food, Agriculture, and Development (CIIFAD), as the Global Coordinator of the GEF-UNDP-CGIAR program on “Alternatives to Slash and Burn Agriculture” (ASB), and as a Principle Investigator in the NASA-supported, Large Scale Biosphere-Atmosphere (LBA-Eco) program in the Brazilian Amazon.

Morven McLean, Ph.D.

Dr. Morven A. McLean is the Executive Director of the non-profit International Life Sciences Institute (ILSI) Research Foundation, where she works with a dedicated team on multi-sectoral, interdisciplinary scientific and capacity building programs that span agriculture, nutrition and the environment.

Dr. McLean first joined the ILSI Research Foundation in in 2009 as Director of the Center for Environmental Risk Assessment, and in 2013 was additionally appointed lead for sustainable agriculture and nutrition security across the ILSI organization internationally. She has held the position of Chief of Canada’s Plant Biotechnology Office, the federal regulatory authority for the assessment and release of genetically modified plants, and was President of AGBIOS, a consultancy that works internationally with governments, non-governmental organizations, and the public and private sectors on issues of policy and regulation pertaining to genetically modified foods, crops, and forest tree species. Dr. McLean has served as a technical expert on biotechnology risk assessment, regulation and policy for many organizations, including the Food and Agriculture Organization, the World Bank, the United States Agency for International Development, the United National Environmental Program and the Secretariat to the Convention on Biological Diversity, as well as many national governments.

Dr. McLean received her B.Sc. (Agriculture) from McGill University, M.Sc. in environmental biology from the University of Guelph, and Ph.D. in molecular plant virology from the University of British Columbia. She completed her post-doctoral training with Agriculture and Agri-food Canada’s Vancouver Research Station.

Elizabeth Mitcham, Ph.D.

Dr. Elizabeth Mitcham is director of the Horticulture Innovation Lab, a $37 million program funded by the U.S. Agency for International Development and managed by the University of California, Davis.  As program director, she develops and manages a portfolio of 24 agriculture development projects in Africa, Southeast Asia and Central America, with research topics spanning the horticultural value chain. The Horticulture Innovation Lab’s global research network advances fruit and vegetable innovations, empowering smallholder farmers to earn more income while better nourishing their communities.

As a scientist, Dr. Mitcham is an internationally renowned expert in postharvest physiology, with an emphasis on reducing food loss and maintaining produce freshness after harvest. She previously served as director of the University of California's Postharvest Technology Center, where she remains an active researcher.  Through her career, Mitcham has shared her expertise with professionals and farmers from more than 50 countries. Mitcham currently serves as the Vice President-Elect for the International Division of the American Society for Horticultural Sciences (ASHS) and was previously honored as the ASHS Outstanding International Horticulturist. Mitcham joined the UC Davis faculty in 1992 as a UC Cooperative Extension specialist, and holds degrees in horticulture from the University of Maryland (Ph.D. and B.S.) and North Carolina State University (M.S.).

Eija Pehu, Ph.D.

Dr. Eija Pehu joined the Agriculture and Rural Development Department (now Food and Agriculture Global Practice) of the World Bank in 2000 as the Science Advisor. Her team works on  agricultural research, extension and innovation, both with external partners such as CGIAR, as well as supporting World Bank operations.  She is also a member of the Gender in Agriculture Team in the World Bank.  Prior to joining the World Bank she served as the Department Chair of Agronomy at the University of Helsinki.

Richard Rosen, Ph.D.

Dr. Richard Rosen spent his early years in the greenhouse and florist business, first as laborer and ultimately as grower and buyer at Harry Quint Greenhouses. Later, he began his professional career at Abt Associates advising federal government agencies, and while at Abt he was instrumental in formulating the Clean Water Act. He founded a series of energy and environmental operating businesses, serving in a variety of roles including CEO, Chief Engineer, Chief Scientific Officer, President, Consultant, Chairman and Director. ERCO Petroleum Services designed and constructed fluidized beds for clients such as Clorox, Tennessee Valley Authority, Tenneco, Combustion Engineering, and others. ERCO was sold to NL Industries and its laboratory affiliate was sold to Corning. Advanced Energy Technology commercialized equipment developed at the University of Texas to measure physical properties of the earth’s subsurface including resistivity for use in oil, gas and geothermal exploration. AET was ultimately merged into its Japanese venture partner, Nishon Iwa. Dr. Rosen has extensive experience building operating facilities including one to remodel landfills using a patented technology and a manufacturing system to recycle rubber for use in a variety of industrial applications.

Dr. Rosen earned a Master’s Degree in Forest Science and a Ph.D. in Engineering from Harvard University.

Gordon Prain, Ph.D.

Dr. Gordon Prain is a consultant who advises CGIAR Centers on issues related to rural and urban food systems and food security, gender and the institutional and social dimensions of agricultural change. Most recently he was Leader of Social, Nutrition and Innovation Sciences at the International Potato Center with a research focus on the contribution of root and tuber crops to food resilience in different types of agri-food systems, including as climate-smart horticultural crops in cereal-based systems in South Asia and contributing to diversification and greater resilience of agri-food systems in hillside and highland communities.

He earlier spent 10 years as the Global Coordinator for the CGIAR Program on urban and peri-urban agriculture known as Urban Harvest, which undertook collaborative R&D in and around cities of the Global South to strengthen vegetable and livestock systems and address environmental and policy challenges. As part of this work, he participated in the Global Horticulture Initiative and was an active contributor to the Global Horticulture Assessment. In all, he has more than 30 years of experience working in participatory, interdisciplinary teams across multiple sectors to support improved livelihoods for rural and urban households. He holds a Ph.D. in social anthropology from the University of Cambridge, UK.

Geeta Sethi, Ph.D.

Dr. Geeta Sethi is Adviser and Global Lead – Food Loss and Waste for Agriculture Global Practice at the World Bank. She has more than 16 years of experience working as an economist on fragile, low-, and middle-income countries. Her work has focused on issues of rural development, service delivery and intergovernmental fiscal policies in India, Pakistan, Nepal, Sri Lanka, Mexico, Argentina, Peru, Colombia, and Honduras.

Dr. Sethi has delivered many lending programs to the World Bank Board as well as published books and articles in referenced journals on issues relating to rural labor markets, trade policy and fiscal decentralization. Previously, she worked as the Program Manager for GAFSP and was Lead Economist with the Poverty Reduction and Economic Management unit in the Latin American and Caribbean Vice Presidency of the World Bank. She has an MBA and Ph.D. in Economics.

Greg Thoma, Ph.D.

Dr. Greg Thoma is the Director of Research for the University of Arkansas Resiliency Center and Bates Teaching Professor of Chemical Engineering at the University of Arkansas. He served as inaugural Director for Research of The Sustainability Consortium. He has led numerous food and agriculture life cycle assessment projects: milk, cheese, milk delivery systems, yogurt, swine, poultry, corn, and beef. He serves on the steering committee for the Swiss National Research Program, “Healthy Nutrition and Sustainable Food Production.”

He is the North American subject editor for Agriculture for the International Journal of Lifecycle Assessment, and has served on the scientific/technical/organizational committee for numerous international LCA conferences. He has been active with the Livestock Environmental Assessment and Performance (LEAP) Partnership since its inception acting as the Technical Advisory Group Lead/Co-lead for development of the poultry, swine, and large ruminants’ guidelines. He is currently serving on the nutrient cycling and biodiversity technical advisory groups.

Juergen Voegele, Ph.D.

Dr. Juergen Voegele was appointed Senior Director of the World Bank's Food and Agriculture Global Practice on July 1, 2014.  In this role, he provides leadership on the Bank’s lending and knowledge activities spanning issues such as climate-smart agriculture, agriculture policy reform, food and nutrition security, and agriculture value chain development.

Dr. Voegele is chair of the CGIAR System Council Board, which oversees agricultural research programs tackling poverty, food and nutrition security, and improved natural resource management around the world. Since 2016, Dr. Voegele has served as co-chair of the Global Future Council of the World Economic Forum. He is also a member of the EAT Foundation Advisory Board since May 2017.

Since joining the World Bank in 1991, Dr. Voegele has held a number of assignments, chairing the Agriculture and Rural Development Sector Board as well as the Environment Sector Board, leading the Agriculture Unit in China, the Agriculture and Rural Development Unit of the Europe and Central Asia Region, and the Agriculture and Rural Development Department of the World Bank (later recast as the Agriculture and Environmental Services Department).

Dr. Voegele holds a Ph.D. in Agriculture Engineering and a Masters in Agriculture Economics from the University of Hohenheim, in Germany.

Jacques Wery, Ph.D.

Dr. Jacques Wery is Deputy Director of General Research at the International Center for Agricultural Research in the Dry Areas (ICARDA), having assumed this role in May 2018.

He was formerly Professor of Agronomy and Agricultural Systems in Montpellier SupAgro, one of the components of Montpellier University. He graduated as Ingenieur Agronome (M.Sc.) in Agronomy and Mediterranean Agriculture in 1980, after which he obtained his Ph.D. in Crop Physiology in 1983 and his Habilitation à Diriger des Recherches at the University of Montpellier in 1996. He has supervised 26 Ph.D. students and published 109 papers in international journals, as well as books on crop physiology, cropping systems design, and agricultural systems modelling. He created in 2001 and chaired until 2010 a research unit (UMR System with INRA and CIRAD) on functional analysis and design of Cropping Systems, with an emphasis on perennial and multispecies systems (intercropping, relay cropping, and agroforestry). Between 2005 and 2009, he was a board member of the Seamless project on integrated modelling of agricultural systems. Between 2009 and 2018, he was the Executive Secretary of the European Society for Agronomy and is, since 2015, the chair of the Farming Systems Design network on methodologies for analysis and design of agricultural systems. He created in 2012 and chaired until 2018 AgroSYS, a joint venture between SupAgro and five private companies to support the design of sustainable agricultural systems through capacity building of students and professionals.

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Building off the Phase I three-day technical training program held in August in Bogor, Indonesia, the ILSI Research Foundation organized a five-day training program at the Stine Haskell Research Facility in Wilmington, DE to observe how food and feed safety assessment data is collected in the laboratory.

Program

The training featured sessions on:     

  • Laboratory and Vivarium Safety
  • Testing Proteins for Toxicity
  • Data Analysis and Statistics
  • Regulatory Testing Strategy
  • Molecular Characterization
  • Analytical Chemistry/Composition Analysis
  • Allergenicity
  • Bioinformatics
  • Transformation Laboratory Tour
  • Microscopy Laboratory Tour

This project is supported by a grant from the USDA’s Emerging Markets Program.

More Information

To learn more about the ILSI Research Foundation’s program on GE food and feed safety, click here.

To learn about Phase I in Indonesia in August 2017, click here.

To read the outcomes from a similar two-phased, food/feed safety program we conducted in India in 2014, click here.

Feedback

Find out what participants are saying about Phase II: 

100% of survey responders found the workshop useful in their current position

“This workshop was very useful for my position as a member of the technical team for feed safety assessment.”

“The information provided in the workshop was important for me as a member of the feed safety assessment team.”

“It helped me gain a more comprehensive understanding on technical aspects of biosafety assessment leading to hopefully a more scientifically sound judgement when evaluating dossiers.”

100% of survey responders found the length of the workshop was just right

As a complement to in-person training, participants were encouraged to take food safety e-Learning courses as part of this program.

“As an introduction before training, it made it easy to understand and follow most of the topics presented during the workshop.”

“The e-Learning course was very excellent to prepare for the course and widen the knowledge before the course.”

“It gives participants basic concepts and understandings and facilitated receiving advanced materials given in the workshop.”

100% of survey responders would recommend this workshop to others

“All presentations were very relevant with our need for food/feed safety assessment… simple but so clear and easy to understand.”

“Very interesting and useful topics.”

“All the equipment for experiments are excellent.”

 “Very useful because we can see the real testing and facilities.”

Learn more about the ILSI Research Foundation’s program on GE food and feed safety.

View the Program

Learn about Phase I in August 2017. 

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On August 1-3, 2017, a three-day technical training program was conducted in Bogor, Indonesia, organized by the ILSI Research Foundation in cooperation with the Indonesian National Agency for Food and Drug Control (BPOM) and the Indonesian Center for Animal Research and Development (ICARD).  This activity provided an opportunity for participants to engage in practical exercises highlighting the fundamental concepts employed in food and feed safety assessments of genetically engineered (GE) crops.

Program

Twenty-three participants from both the Indonesian Food Safety Technical Team and the Feed Safety Technical Team attended the training held at the Harris Hotel. The training was supported by expert faculty from the United States, and the Philippines, including Dr. Donald MacKenzie, International Rice Research Institute, Dr. Flerida Carino, University of the Philippines, Dr. Bryan Delaney, DuPont Pioneer, Dr. Andrew Roberts and Dr. Xianglu Han, ILSI Research Foundation. The workshop introduced important concepts and components for food and feed safety assessment, including problem formulation, toxicity, composition and allergenicity assessment as well as molecular characterization. The structure of the program involved more than just lectures, and included the opportunity for participants to work through practical exercises in groups.  These exercises focused on the ability to identify and use available information resources associated with food and feed safety assessments as well as providing an opportunity to consider topics in more detail.

Building off the Phase I program, the ILSI Research Foundation organized a five-day Phase II training program at the Stine Haskell Research Facility in Wilmington, DE, USA, in November which will include the opportunity to observe how food and feed safety assessment data is collected in the laboratory.

This project is supported by a grant from the USDA’s Emerging Markets Program.

More Information

To learn more about the ILSI Research Foundation’s program on GE food and feed safety, click here.

To learn about Phase II in Newark, DE in November 2017, click here.

To read the outcomes from a similar two-phased, food/feed safety program we conducted in India in 2014, click here.

Feedback

Find out what participants are saying about Phase I: 

100% of survey responders found the workshop useful in their current position

“As a member of the feed safety assessment technical team, the workshop was very useful for gaining detail information about food and feed safety assessment.”

“Since I am a Technical Manager of Biotechnology Laboratory who is responsible for GMF detection, this training course bridges my knowledge on safety assessment (pre market control) and post market control (GMF detection).”

100% of survey responders would recommend this workshop to others

“Excellent quality overall.”

“The topic regarding the database of GM crop provided from the ILSI Research Foundation is very useful in any aspects. This has broadened my perspective regarding the list of useful databases, especially on the assessment of GM crop in general.”

“All aspects of workshop were valuable and useful in strengthening our capability in assessing safety of foods and feeds derived from GE crop. Applying problem formulation to the safety assessment of GE foods and feeds is most valuable for me.”

Learn more about the ILSI Research Foundation’s program on GE food and feed safety.

View the Program

Learn about Phase II in November 2017. 

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ILSI Research Foundation and Food and Agriculture Global Practice, World Bank are very pleased to announce the scientific symposium: Protected Production of Fruits and Vegetables for Nutrition Security in Urban and Peri-Urban Environments. Fruits and vegetables play an essential role in nutritious diets and are key to addressing health and nutritional challenges. Increasing productivity to meet growing demand is challenged by the impacts of climate change and competition for essential natural resources. Ensuring the sustainability of the fruit and vegetable supply cannot be achieved without implementation of climate smart adaptation and mitigation interventions.

Ranging from inexpensive, simple polytunnels to high-cost, high-technology production platforms, protected systems for fruit and vegetable production offer viable alternatives to rainfed, open-field cultivation of these high value, nutritious crops. Protected cultivation, particularly in low and middle income countries, has been proposed as a way to adapt production to climate volatility while also increasing supply. However, protected cultivation techniques are not suitable to all climatic conditions, or all fruit and vegetable crops. Startup costs can be prohibitive, particularly for small-holders, and profitability requires higher quality and yields, access to markets, and/or higher selling prices.

This scientific symposium will explore how protected cultivation of fruits and vegetables can be used to provide a reliable, affordable, and sustainably produced supply of nutrient dense foods, with an emphasis on production opportunities in urban and peri-urban settings.

Agenda
Time Topic Presenter
1:00 pm Welcome and Introductions Juergen Voegele, Ph.D.
Senior Director, Agriculture Global Practice, The World Bank Group

Morven McLean, Ph.D.
Executive Director, ILSI Research Foundation

1:15 pm Protected Cultivation of Fruits and Vegetables: Opportunities and Challenges Elizabeth Mitcham, Ph.D.
Director, Feed the Future Innovation Lab for Horticulture, University of California, Davis
1:30 pm Projected Impacts of Climate Change on Fruit and Vegetable Production Globally Through to 2050 TBD
1:55 pm Life Cycle Assessment of Fruit and Vegetable Production, Including Protected Systems Greg Thoma, Ph.D.
Professor, Bates Teaching Endowed Professorship in Chemical Engineering, University of Arkansas
2:20 pm Break
2:45 pm Controlled Environment Agriculture: The Technological Suite of Opportunities and Constraints Richard Rosen, Ph.D.
Chief Executive Officer, American Ag Energy
3:10 pm Integrated Production Systems for Nutritional Security and More Jobs Per Drop for Smallholder Farmers Under Climate Change in the MENA Region Jacques Wery, Ph.D.
Director General, International Center for Agricultural Research in the Dry Areas (ICARDA)

Azaiez Ouled Belgacem, Ph.D.
Regional Coordinator, International Center for Agricultural Research in the Dry Areas (ICARDA)

3:35 pm The Importance of Climate-Smart Horticulture in Urban and Peri-Urban Areas of the Global South: Policy Challenges and Interventions Gordon Prain, Ph.D.
Global Coordinator (retired), Urban Harvest, CGIAR Global Program on Urban and Peri-Urban Agriculture
4:00 pm Panel Discussion with Presenters

Q&A

Erick Fernandes, Ph.D.
Global Lead - Technology, Innovation, and Climate Smart Agriculture, Agriculture Global Practice, The World Bank Group

Geeta Sethi, Ph.D.
Adviser and Global Lead - Food Loss and Waste, Agriculture Global Practice, The World Bank Group

4:50 pm Summary Remarks Eija Pehu, Ph.D.
Board of Trustees, ILSI Research Foundation
Registration


The event is open to the public and free of charge. However, space is limited. Reserve your seat today to attend the symposium in person or online through live webcast.
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Speakers

At A Glance Erick Fernandes, Ph.D. Morven McLean, Ph.D. Elizabeth Mitcham, Ph.D. Eija Pehu, Ph.D. Richard Rosen, Ph.D. Gordon Prain, Ph.D. Geeta Sethi, Ph.D. Greg Thoma, Ph.D. Juergen Voegele, Ph.D. Jacques Wery, Ph.D. At A Glance
Erick Fernandes, Ph.D.
Agriculture Global Practice,
The World Bank Group
Morven McLean, Ph.D.
ILSI Research Foundation
Elizabeth Mitcham, Ph.D.
Feed the Future Innovation Lab for Horticulture, UC, Davis
Eija Pehu, Ph.D.
ILSI Research Foundation
Gordon Prain, Ph.D.
Urban Harvest (retired)
CGIAR Global Program on Urban and Peri-Urban Agriculture
Richard Rosen, Ph.D.
American Ag Energy
Geeta Sethi, Ph.D.
Agriculture Global Practice,
The World Bank Group
Greg Thoma, Ph.D.
University of Arkansas
Juergen Voegele, Ph.D.
Agriculture Global Practice,
The World Bank Group
Jacques Wery, Ph.D.
International Center for Agricultural Research
in the Dry Areas (ICARDA)
Erick Fernandes, Ph.D.

Dr. Erick Fernandes holds a B.S. in Forestry from the University of Aberdeen and a Ph.D. in Soil Science from North Carolina State University. He was appointed as an International Professor of Crop and Soil Sciences at Cornell University (1995-2005) with research and teaching programs on tropical agroecosystems, cropping systems, and agroforestry. At Cornell, he also served on the Program Committee of Cornell’s International Institute for Food, Agriculture, and Development (CIIFAD), as the Global Coordinator of the GEF-UNDP-CGIAR program on “Alternatives to Slash and Burn Agriculture” (ASB), and as a Principle Investigator in the NASA-supported, Large Scale Biosphere-Atmosphere (LBA-Eco) program in the Brazilian Amazon.

Morven McLean, Ph.D.

Dr. Morven A. McLean is the Executive Director of the non-profit International Life Sciences Institute (ILSI) Research Foundation, where she works with a dedicated team on multi-sectoral, interdisciplinary scientific and capacity building programs that span agriculture, nutrition and the environment.

Dr. McLean first joined the ILSI Research Foundation in in 2009 as Director of the Center for Environmental Risk Assessment, and in 2013 was additionally appointed lead for sustainable agriculture and nutrition security across the ILSI organization internationally. She has held the position of Chief of Canada’s Plant Biotechnology Office, the federal regulatory authority for the assessment and release of genetically modified plants, and was President of AGBIOS, a consultancy that works internationally with governments, non-governmental organizations, and the public and private sectors on issues of policy and regulation pertaining to genetically modified foods, crops, and forest tree species. Dr. McLean has served as a technical expert on biotechnology risk assessment, regulation and policy for many organizations, including the Food and Agriculture Organization, the World Bank, the United States Agency for International Development, the United National Environmental Program and the Secretariat to the Convention on Biological Diversity, as well as many national governments.

Dr. McLean received her B.Sc. (Agriculture) from McGill University, M.Sc. in environmental biology from the University of Guelph, and Ph.D. in molecular plant virology from the University of British Columbia. She completed her post-doctoral training with Agriculture and Agri-food Canada’s Vancouver Research Station.

Elizabeth Mitcham, Ph.D.

Dr. Elizabeth Mitcham is director of the Horticulture Innovation Lab, a $37 million program funded by the U.S. Agency for International Development and managed by the University of California, Davis.  As program director, she develops and manages a portfolio of 24 agriculture development projects in Africa, Southeast Asia and Central America, with research topics spanning the horticultural value chain. The Horticulture Innovation Lab’s global research network advances fruit and vegetable innovations, empowering smallholder farmers to earn more income while better nourishing their communities.

As a scientist, Dr. Mitcham is an internationally renowned expert in postharvest physiology, with an emphasis on reducing food loss and maintaining produce freshness after harvest. She previously served as director of the University of California's Postharvest Technology Center, where she remains an active researcher.  Through her career, Mitcham has shared her expertise with professionals and farmers from more than 50 countries. Mitcham currently serves as the Vice President-Elect for the International Division of the American Society for Horticultural Sciences (ASHS) and was previously honored as the ASHS Outstanding International Horticulturist. Mitcham joined the UC Davis faculty in 1992 as a UC Cooperative Extension specialist, and holds degrees in horticulture from the University of Maryland (Ph.D. and B.S.) and North Carolina State University (M.S.).

Eija Pehu, Ph.D.

Dr. Eija Pehu joined the Agriculture and Rural Development Department (now Food and Agriculture Global Practice) of the World Bank in 2000 as the Science Advisor. Her team works on  agricultural research, extension and innovation, both with external partners such as CGIAR, as well as supporting World Bank operations.  She is also a member of the Gender in Agriculture Team in the World Bank.  Prior to joining the World Bank she served as the Department Chair of Agronomy at the University of Helsinki.

Richard Rosen, Ph.D.

Dr. Richard Rosen spent his early years in the greenhouse and florist business, first as laborer and ultimately as grower and buyer at Harry Quint Greenhouses. Later, he began his professional career at Abt Associates advising federal government agencies, and while at Abt he was instrumental in formulating the Clean Water Act. He founded a series of energy and environmental operating businesses, serving in a variety of roles including CEO, Chief Engineer, Chief Scientific Officer, President, Consultant, Chairman and Director. ERCO Petroleum Services designed and constructed fluidized beds for clients such as Clorox, Tennessee Valley Authority, Tenneco, Combustion Engineering, and others. ERCO was sold to NL Industries and its laboratory affiliate was sold to Corning. Advanced Energy Technology commercialized equipment developed at the University of Texas to measure physical properties of the earth’s subsurface including resistivity for use in oil, gas and geothermal exploration. AET was ultimately merged into its Japanese venture partner, Nishon Iwa. Dr. Rosen has extensive experience building operating facilities including one to remodel landfills using a patented technology and a manufacturing system to recycle rubber for use in a variety of industrial applications.

Dr. Rosen earned a Master’s Degree in Forest Science and a Ph.D. in Engineering from Harvard University.

Gordon Prain, Ph.D.

Dr. Gordon Prain is a consultant who advises CGIAR Centers on issues related to rural and urban food systems and food security, gender and the institutional and social dimensions of agricultural change. Most recently he was Leader of Social, Nutrition and Innovation Sciences at the International Potato Center with a research focus on the contribution of root and tuber crops to food resilience in different types of agri-food systems, including as climate-smart horticultural crops in cereal-based systems in South Asia and contributing to diversification and greater resilience of agri-food systems in hillside and highland communities.

He earlier spent 10 years as the Global Coordinator for the CGIAR Program on urban and peri-urban agriculture known as Urban Harvest, which undertook collaborative R&D in and around cities of the Global South to strengthen vegetable and livestock systems and address environmental and policy challenges. As part of this work, he participated in the Global Horticulture Initiative and was an active contributor to the Global Horticulture Assessment. In all, he has more than 30 years of experience working in participatory, interdisciplinary teams across multiple sectors to support improved livelihoods for rural and urban households. He holds a Ph.D. in social anthropology from the University of Cambridge, UK.

Geeta Sethi, Ph.D.

Dr. Geeta Sethi is Adviser and Global Lead – Food Loss and Waste for Agriculture Global Practice at the World Bank. She has more than 16 years of experience working as an economist on fragile, low-, and middle-income countries. Her work has focused on issues of rural development, service delivery and intergovernmental fiscal policies in India, Pakistan, Nepal, Sri Lanka, Mexico, Argentina, Peru, Colombia, and Honduras.

Dr. Sethi has delivered many lending programs to the World Bank Board as well as published books and articles in referenced journals on issues relating to rural labor markets, trade policy and fiscal decentralization. Previously, she worked as the Program Manager for GAFSP and was Lead Economist with the Poverty Reduction and Economic Management unit in the Latin American and Caribbean Vice Presidency of the World Bank. She has an MBA and Ph.D. in Economics.

Greg Thoma, Ph.D.

Dr. Greg Thoma is the Director of Research for the University of Arkansas Resiliency Center and Bates Teaching Professor of Chemical Engineering at the University of Arkansas. He served as inaugural Director for Research of The Sustainability Consortium. He has led numerous food and agriculture life cycle assessment projects: milk, cheese, milk delivery systems, yogurt, swine, poultry, corn, and beef. He serves on the steering committee for the Swiss National Research Program, “Healthy Nutrition and Sustainable Food Production.”

He is the North American subject editor for Agriculture for the International Journal of Lifecycle Assessment, and has served on the scientific/technical/organizational committee for numerous international LCA conferences. He has been active with the Livestock Environmental Assessment and Performance (LEAP) Partnership since its inception acting as the Technical Advisory Group Lead/Co-lead for development of the poultry, swine, and large ruminants’ guidelines. He is currently serving on the nutrient cycling and biodiversity technical advisory groups.

Juergen Voegele, Ph.D.

Dr. Juergen Voegele was appointed Senior Director of the World Bank's Food and Agriculture Global Practice on July 1, 2014.  In this role, he provides leadership on the Bank’s lending and knowledge activities spanning issues such as climate-smart agriculture, agriculture policy reform, food and nutrition security, and agriculture value chain development.

Dr. Voegele is chair of the CGIAR System Council Board, which oversees agricultural research programs tackling poverty, food and nutrition security, and improved natural resource management around the world. Since 2016, Dr. Voegele has served as co-chair of the Global Future Council of the World Economic Forum. He is also a member of the EAT Foundation Advisory Board since May 2017.

Since joining the World Bank in 1991, Dr. Voegele has held a number of assignments, chairing the Agriculture and Rural Development Sector Board as well as the Environment Sector Board, leading the Agriculture Unit in China, the Agriculture and Rural Development Unit of the Europe and Central Asia Region, and the Agriculture and Rural Development Department of the World Bank (later recast as the Agriculture and Environmental Services Department).

Dr. Voegele holds a Ph.D. in Agriculture Engineering and a Masters in Agriculture Economics from the University of Hohenheim, in Germany.

Jacques Wery, Ph.D.

Dr. Jacques Wery is Deputy Director of General Research at the International Center for Agricultural Research in the Dry Areas (ICARDA), having assumed this role in May 2018.

He was formerly Professor of Agronomy and Agricultural Systems in Montpellier SupAgro, one of the components of Montpellier University. He graduated as Ingenieur Agronome (M.Sc.) in Agronomy and Mediterranean Agriculture in 1980, after which he obtained his Ph.D. in Crop Physiology in 1983 and his Habilitation à Diriger des Recherches at the University of Montpellier in 1996. He has supervised 26 Ph.D. students and published 109 papers in international journals, as well as books on crop physiology, cropping systems design, and agricultural systems modelling. He created in 2001 and chaired until 2010 a research unit (UMR System with INRA and CIRAD) on functional analysis and design of Cropping Systems, with an emphasis on perennial and multispecies systems (intercropping, relay cropping, and agroforestry). Between 2005 and 2009, he was a board member of the Seamless project on integrated modelling of agricultural systems. Between 2009 and 2018, he was the Executive Secretary of the European Society for Agronomy and is, since 2015, the chair of the Farming Systems Design network on methodologies for analysis and design of agricultural systems. He created in 2012 and chaired until 2018 AgroSYS, a joint venture between SupAgro and five private companies to support the design of sustainable agricultural systems through capacity building of students and professionals.

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Crop Health and Its Global Impacts on the Components of Food Security

This article attempts to develop a framework that would enable assessment of the impacts of plant diseases, referred collectively to as crop health, on food security via its components. Given the number of components and interactions at play, a systems modelling approach is required to address the functioning of food systems exposed to plant disease risks.

Read more

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Legacy Work

Condensed and Centralized Food Safety Information

Finding accurate and reliable information about the safety of foods derived from genetically engineered plants can be daunting, particularly for regulators who may not have a specific application on their desk. This information is essential for risk assessors and regulators who may need to make decisions regarding the safety of small amounts of genetically engineered material which may inadvertently enter the country without authorization, also known as low-level presence.

The ILSI Research Foundation has published monographs which provide a comprehensive review of food safety information and data for each of four novel proteins found in some genetically engineered plants: the EPSPS and PAT/BAR proteins that confer herbicide tolerance, and the Cry1Ac and Cry1Ab proteins that confer insect resistance.

The documents review the safety of these proteins and provide links to publications, regulatory dossiers and decision documents.

Safety Assessment of Food Derived from Modern Biotechnology (IFBiC)

From 1997-2013, the ILSI International Food Biotechnology Committee (IFBiC) served as a biotechnology resource that aided science-based decision-making in food and feed crop safety assessments. IFBiC’s core programs on harmonization, outreach, and education addressed issues related to the development, distribution, and safety of foods and feed developed through modern biotechnology. Click on the links below to learn more.

A Look at Product Development with Genetically Modified Crops: Examples from Maize

Plant breeding for crop genetic improvement involves the cycle of creating genetic diversity and exploiting that diversity to derive an improved cultivar with outstanding performance for specific traits of interest. This article contains proceedings from the 2012 IFBiC Plant Compositional Analysis Workshop.

Read more

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