20 July 2018
Is integrated health and agriculture equivalent to the chicken and egg scenario? Rather than a debate, this question is an invitation to consider the tight linkages between disciplines such as health and agriculture because their impacts on one another are so intertwined. Nowadays, it seems impossible to look at health risks without looking at agricultural strategies. Agriculture extension work needs to integrate health indicators and vice versa.
In times of pandemics, agriculture may suffer, which in turn has a negative impact on health. Agricultural development has put significant stress on health resilience. Trade-offs sometimes occur between food security and health risks. This shows different disciplines have much to offer to one another and the necessity to move beyond inter-sectoral research collaboration. Then, as their work moves forward, it has to be proven that value has been added.
Prof Bassirou Bonfoh, Director of Afrique One-ASPIRE, was a keynote speaker at the Agriculture, Nutrition and Health conference 2018. He reminded the attendees of the close relationship between health and agriculture. As an One Health champion, he showed the importance of this approach in research-intervention on health and agriculture.