The Power of Semi-commercial Agricultural / Agroforestry Commodity Value-addition and its Contribution to Rural Livelihood Enhancement
by Dr. Naresh Thevathasan, School of Environmental Science (SES), University of Guelph
LOCATION: Room 202, Crop Sci
DATE & TIME: Thursday, March 29, 2018 @ 10:30 AM
There is a common misconception related to food production and food security; often international development projects focus on food production and when this is achieved, it is conceived that food security is attained. Sadly, this is not the case as there are no markets, processing facilities and additional income at the household /community level to access and use the enhanced production. From 2007 to 2014, a Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA) funded project led to the introduction of various agroforestry technologies in six communities in the Brong Ahafo Region of Ghana. These practices were expected to improve diversified agricultural production and livelihood activities to contribute to food and income security in the target communities. A key feature was to train and qualify the producers to be the processors and add value to agricultural commodities to be in control of commodity prices and sales to eliminate the ‘middle man’. This resulted in enhanced household incomes, and in turn led to wider food production, accessibility and utilization; the three dimensions of food security.
Dr. Naresh Thevathasan is an Associate Professor in the school of Environmental Sciences He has worked on food security and international developmental projects in Ghana, India, Nepal, DR Congo, Egypt, Rwanda, Tanzania and Chile. He was recently invited to make a presentation to the standing committee on Agriculture and AgriFood, Government of Canada, on the role of agroforestry land-use systems towards climate change mitigation and is on the advisory committee for the Ontario Ministry of Environment and Climate Change (MOECC)’s Voluntary Carbon Offset Program. He received his Ph.D in agroforestry from the University of Guelph, Canada in 1998 and received an honorary Doctor of Science degree in 2011 for his agroforestry and food security work in Ghana (west Africa).