The 2022 FFTC AP-VAAS Forum on “Circular Agriculture for Sustainable Healthy Diets: Perspectives and Policy Implications” was successfully conducted online (with an onsite venue in VAAS for local participants) on July 19, 2022. This forum was jointly organized by FFTC and the Vietnam Academy of Agricultural Sciences (VAAS) in partnership with the FFTC-AP Platform Contracted Partners. The main purpose of this activity is to identify drivers and barriers in transition from linear agri-food systems towards circular agri-food systems addressing planetary healthy diets.
The Forum invited 12 speakers from 9 countries (Indonesia, Japan, Korea, Malaysia, Myanmar, Taiwan, Thailand, U.S.A, and Vietnam) to explore the contribution of circular agriculture approaches and nutritional communication approaches to sustainable agri-food production and consumption in the Asian and Pacific region.
In the Forum, the speakers shared applicable and practical technologies in circular agriculture as it relates to sustainable healthy diets as well as the strategies and initiatives to promote circular agriculture and sustainable healthy diets. Successful cases of circular agriculture approaches such as the integrated crop-livestock-aquaculture production systems, innovative technologies in recycling crop residues and animal and food wastes to generate value-added products or raw materials or inputs for other production cycles were illustrated by several speakers in the Forum. Concepts such as Nitrogen footprint (NFP) approach, multifunctionality in circular agriculture, and dietary guidelines towards more plant-based low-carbon foods for Asians were also introduced and discussed.
During the Forum, it was emphasized that the recycle and reuse of agricultural residues and their concentrated products could make the most efficient use of natural sources, close the loop in nutrient cycling, and bring new income to farmers. Also, the need for the development and adoption of the efficient and simple scientific indicator tool, such as dietary NFP, for the communication among consumers, producers, retailers, policy makers, etc. on how to develop sustainable food system while considering nutritional balance of the diet was highlighted.
With over 160 registrants, the online participants came mainly from the Philippines (28%), Vietnam (16%), Malaysia (11%), Taiwan (7%), Myanmar, Sri Lanka, and Thailand. About 29% of those belonged to the private sector or NGOs.
The forum was also livestreamed on FFTC’s official Facebook websites. All the workshop papers and PPT presentations will soon be shared on an open access mode for free on the FFTC official website for dissemination to the general public.