Tokyo Nutrition for Growth Summit 2021 Official Sideevent

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Supported by

Date and Time

6 December, 2021
6:00 – 8:00 am (Washington DC/EST)
12:00 – 2:00 pm (West Africa/WAT)
2:00 – 4:00 pm (East Africa/EAT)
20:00 – 22:00 (Japan/JST)

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HarvestPlus, a global program focused on improving nutrition, health, and livelihoods in low- and middle-income countries (LMICs), and Sasakawa Africa Association (SAA), an international NGO dedicated to supporting sustainable agricultural development in Africa, will co-host a symposium on promoting and scaling up the reach of biofortified staple crops on the occasion of the Tokyo Nutrition for Growth Summit 2021.

HarvestPlus, which is part of the CGIAR, is a leader in the development and promotion of biofortified crops that are conventionally bred to be rich in essential micronutrients (specifically vitamin A, iron and zinc). SAA has been disseminating improved agricultural technologies to smallholder farmers in Africa since 1986 by enhancing national agricultural extension systems. In SAA’s new five-year strategy formulated this year, "nutrition sensitive agriculture" became the third strategic pillar alongside regenerative agriculture and market-oriented agriculture.

In this symposium, the two organizations will share their respective experiences, challenges, lessons, and potential opportunities in empowering rural communities in LMICs to access and grow biofortified crops, and identify a way forward for scaling up. In addition, representatives of SAA and HarvestPlus will discuss their new partnerhip aimed at accelerating scale up of biofortification in Africa.


20:00 – 22:00(Japan/JST)

Program Speakers
1. Welcome and introductions Ruth Oniang’o, Chair, Sasakawa African Association (SAA)
Yohei Sasakawa, Chairperson, The Nippon Foundation
2. Keynote address H.E. Olsegun Obasanjo, The former President of Nigeria Republic
3. Special remark Esi Amoaful, Director of Nutrition, Ghana Health Service
4. Sharing experiences - Howarth “Howdy” Bouis, Founding Director, HarvestPlus; 2016 World Food Prize Laureate
Mel Oluoch, Regional Director, SAA
5. Panel discussion: Perspectives from panelists Moderator: Peter Goldstein, Head of Strategic Communication, HarvestPlus

Shinjiro Amameishi, Deputy Director General, and Group Director for Agricultural and Rural Development 2 (Africa, Middle East and Europe), Economic Development Department, JICA

Anang Noegroho, Director of Food and Agriculture, Indonesian Ministry of National Development Planning (BAPPENAS)

Sani Miko, Country Director, SAA-Nigeira

H.E. Martha Udom Emmanuel First Lady of Akwa Ibom State, Nigeria; Chairperson and Founder, Family Empowerment and Youth Reorientation Programme (FEYReP)
6. Q & A
7. Concluding remarks Arun Baral, CEO, HarvestPlus.
Makoto Kitanaka, President, SAA


Mr. Yohei Sasakawa

Mr. Yohei Sasakawa (Japan), Chairman of The Nippon Foundation, was involved in the activities of the Sasakawa Africa Association from its inception in 1986. Heavily involved in world maritime matters, he is also working for a world without leprosy, as World Health Organization Goodwill Ambassador for Leprosy Elimination and Japan’s Ambassador for the Human Rights of People Affected by Leprosy. Among many honours, he was awarded the Gandhi Peace Prize in 2018. He was recently awarded the Grand Cordon of the Order of the Rising Sun, which is the highest-ranked medal a civilian can receive in Japan.

Hon. Prof. Ruth Oniang’o

Hon. Prof. Ruth Oniang’o (Kenya), Chair of SAA, is the founder of the African Journal of Food, Agriculture, Nutrition and Development. She is a leader in outreach and work with smallholder farmers in Kenya, and her work with the Rural Outreach Programme has supported resource-poor farmer activities. As Chair of Kenya’s Food Security and Nutrition Taskforce, she seeks to raise awareness on poverty, food security, nutrition and gender issues. In 2017, she was awarded the prestigious Africa Food Prize.

H.E. President Olusegun Obasanjo

H.E. President Olusegun Obasanjo (Nigeria) served as the President of Nigeria from 1999 to 2007. As President of Nigeria he oversaw his country’s first democratic handover of power and administrative reforms that accelerated economic growth. He served as a Board of Directors of Sasakawa Africa Association from 1993-1999. He has played a pivotal role in the regeneration and repositioning of the African Union, including helping to establish the New Partnership for Africa’s Development (NEPAD) and the African Peer Review Mechanism (APRM). He has consistently supported the deepening and widening of regional cooperation through the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) and the Co-prosperity Alliance Zone incorporating Benin, Ghana, Nigeria and Togo. He also been involved in international mediation efforts in Angola, Burundi, Namibia, Mozambique and South Africa. In 2008, the United Nations Secretary- General, Ban Ki-moon, appointed Mr. Obasanjo as his Special Envoy to the Great Lakes region, where he has played an integral part in mediation efforts in eastern Democratic Republic of the Congo. He has previously served as chairman of the Group of 77, chairman of the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting, and chairman of the NEPAD Heads of State and Government Implementation Committee. He currently serves as High Representative of the African Union Commission for the Horn of Africa.  

Esi Foriwa Amoaful

Esi Foriwa Amoaful is currently the Director of Nutrition at the Ghana Health Service. She is a nutritionist and public health specialist who has spent close to two decades working in program design and management, capacity development, advocacy and policy development, applied research with special focus on childhood and maternal nutrition, and micronutrient malnutrition prevention. She previously worked as the national program manager 1996 to 2013 leading the setting up of the Vitamin A Deficiency Control Program covering fortification; supplementation and promoting diversified diets.

Ms. Amoaful has conducted extensive research in nutrition and health covering vitamin A and related fields as research fellow and Research Technical Advisor. She has worked in the area of nutrition, gender and agriculture linkages, chaired the Steering Committee of the Vitamin A for Africa (VITAA), a partnership project for promoting the increased production and utilization of orange-fleshed sweetpotato (OFSP). A member of the SASHA project team and Sweetpotato Support Platform for West Africa that is making OFSP available to reduce micronutrient deficiency; and currently working on the Ghana Jumpstarting Orange-fleshed Sweetpotato through Diversified Markets Project that seeks to achieve nutritional impact through generating demand for OFSP and other vitamin-A rich foods in antenatal counseling program of the Ghana Health Service and in local markets.
She holds a Master’s degree in Public Health from the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine and a Bachelor’s degree in Nutrition and Biochemistry from the University of Ghana.

Dr.Howarth Bouis

Howarth Bouis, a recipient in 2016 of the World Food Prize pioneered the concept of biofortification in the early 1990s and founded HarvestPlus in 2003. He has devoted his career to turning this idea into a global movement that currently reaches more than 50 million people in smallholder farming families in low-income countries. He continues to actively champion biofortification and the work of HarvestPlus in the international agriculture and nutrition communities. Bouis received a bachelor’s degree in economics from Stanford University and a master’s degree and PhD from Stanford University's Food Research Institute. Prior to beginning his graduate studies, Bouis worked for three years as a volunteer in the Philippines with Volunteers in Asia. After receiving his PhD, Bouis was offered a postdoctoral position in 1982 in the Food Consumption and Nutrition Division of IFPRI to undertake a two-year research project on the Philippines. He subsequently worked as a Research Fellow and Senior Research Fellow in the same division. His research concentrated on understanding how economic factors affect food demand and nutrition outcomes, particularly in Asia. Insights gained during this research led him to propose the concept of biofortification. Bouis also chairs the Board of Trustees of the Micronutrient Forum.  In 2017, he was awarded a Doctor of Science, Honoris Causa, by the University of Greenwich. In 2018, Bouis was named a Nutrition Champion by the African Leaders for Nutrition, a joint initiative of the African Development Bank and the African Union to promote high-level engagement and advance the nutrition agenda. Bouis currently resides in the Philippines.

Dr. Mel Oluoch

Dr. Mel Oluoch (Kenya) is the Regional Director of the SAA since 2018 and is based in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. He has a PhD in Horticulture from Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University (Virginia Tech) in USA and has extensively published in academic journals and other publications. He has previously held senior positions at the World Vegetable Center, the International Institute of Tropical Agriculture (IITA), and HarvestPlus. He was a former Tanzania Country Coordinator for the International Center for Tropical Agriculture (CIAT) and was recently an adjunct lecturer at Nairobi University, Kenya, in the Department of Plant Science and Crop Protection.

Mr. Peter Goldstein

Mr. Peter Goldstein is a communications professional with broad experience in the global development sector. He is Head of Strategic Communications at HarvestPlus, the world leader in development and promotion of staple crop biofortification to address hidden hunger in low- and middle-income countries. Before joining HarvestPlus in 2018, Peter spent 10 years in senior communications, marketing, and resource mobilization positions with global development NGOs. Prior to that, he was a reporter and editor based in Europe and the U.S. with the Wall Street Journal, Dow Jones Newswires, and Kiplinger. He holds a Masters Degree in African Studies and International Economics from the Johns Hopkins Nitze School of Advanced International Studies (SAIS) and a Bachelors Degree in Politics from the University of California, Santa Cruz.

Mr. Shinjiro Amameishi

Mr. Shinjiro Amameishi (Japan) is the Deputy Director General, Economic development Department, JICA, and responsible for the agricultural and rural development including nutrition in Africa, Middle East and Europe. Since he joined JICA in 1994, he has engaged in the agricultural development with consistency. He served as Project Coordinator of agricultural and rural development project in Lao P.D.R.(1998-2000), Young Professional Officer, FAO Regional Office for Asia and the Pacific (2001-2003), Programme Formulation Advisor (agriculture sector development programme), JICA Tanzania Office (2008-2011) and Senior Representative, JICA Kenya Office (2016-2020).

H.E. Dr. Martha Udom Emmanuel

H.E. Dr. Martha Udom Emmanuel (Nigeria) is the wife of the Governor of Akwa Ibom State, His Excellency, Mr Udom Emmanuel. She is a biochemist and a successful aquaculturist. She is also the founder of the Non-Governmental Organization Family Empowerment and Youth Re-orientation Path Initiative (FEYReP), which focuses on youth and gender issues and empowerment. She received several recognitions from International, National and State Organisations. She is a devout Christian and is blessed with lovely children.

Dr. Sani Miko

Dr. Sani Miko (Nigeria) joined SAA in 2009 as Country Director of SAA Nigeria. He obtained a PhD in Irrigation Agronomy in 1999 from Ahmadu Bello University (ABU) at Zaria (Nigeria). Dr. Miko began his career in the Department of Agronomy at ABU in 1988. He was involved in extension and research on cereal agronomy and water management at the Institute for Agricultural Research, Samaru. Before joining SAA, Dr. Miko was Head of the Agronomy Department and the Dean of the Faculty of Agriculture.

Aanag Noegroho

Aanag Noegroho (Indonesia) is the Director for Food and Agriculture, Ministry of National Development Planning of Republic of Indonesia since 2018. He has over 30 years of experience in public service. Previously, he was Director for Ocean and Fisheries Development, Ministry of National Development Planning (2017-2018), Director for Marine and Fisheries Product Development (2016), Director for Investment and Private Sector Development at the Ministry of Marine Affairs and Fisheries (2015-2017), Director of Center for International and Interagency Cooperation at the Ministry of Marine Affairs and Fisheries (2009-2015), Director of Fishing Industry Development (2008-2009), Director of International Marketing (2005-2008), and Director for International Institutions (2001-2005). Before joining the Ministry, he worked for several agencies inter alia National Development Planning Agency (Bappenas), Cabinet Secretariat, State Secretariat, and Investment Coordinating Board.
In 2013-2014 he has served as Deputy Lead Shepherd for Ocean and Fisheries Working Group in APEC, Facilitating the establishing of mainstreaming ocean related issues coordination in APEC, and Coordinator for ASEAN Fisheries for Public Private Partnership in 2014. In 2014-2016, he has also served as Chairman of Financial Resources Working Group and Coordinating Mechanism Working Group for Coral Triangle Initiative (CTI). Since 2018, he has served as National Chair for SDG2 End Hunger. In 2021, he was assigned as Indonesian National Convener for UN Food Systems Summit 2021.
He holds Master of Engineering Management in Energy Management and Environmental Program from George Washington University, and Resource Economics Program from Georgetown University, Washington D.C., USA, and a B.Agr from Bogor Agriculture University, Indonesia.

Arun Baral

Arun Baral was appointed chief executive officer (CEO) of HarvestPlus in 2019, succeeding HarvestPlus founder Howarth Bouis. As CEO, Baral oversees the interdisciplinary, global effort of HarvestPlus to develop and deliver micronutrient-rich staple food crops to reduce micronutrient deficiency (or “hidden hunger”) among malnourished populations. He champions biofortification within the CGIAR system, the private sector, among national agricultural research centers, and in the international agriculture and nutrition communities. He focuses on developing effective partnerships to scale up biofortification and support development of sustainable biofortified food systems that provide access to nutritious food for all. Baral also spearheaded the establishment of HarvestPlus Solutions, a non-profit entity that is working with partners in the private and public sector to fill gaps in biofortified food value chains to scale up biofortified products.
Baral joined HarvestPlus in 2017 as chief financial officer, after more than 30 years in the international agriculture sector, with roles in commercial operations, profit and loss (P&L) management, strategy, finance, business development, and marketing. He has been based in Asia, Africa, and the United States, and has also traveled extensively for work in Latin America. Baral spent over 24 years at DuPont Pioneer, including as Asia Regional Business Director, where he was instrumental in developing and executing a strategy that significantly grew the Asia business during his tenure. Baral holds a Master of Business Administration from Drake University in Iowa, and a Bachelor of Commerce (honors) from Delhi University in India.

Dr. Makoto Kitanaka

Dr. Makoto Kitanaka (Japan) was appointed as President of the SAA on November 5, 2019. He has worked for JICA for more than 30 years and served as the Director General of the Department of Rural Development.
Some of his achievements are: 1) expansion of the CARD (Coalition for African Rice Development) with the aim of doubling rice production in Africa in 10 years, 2) expansion of SHEP (Smallholder Horticulture Empowerment & Promotion in Africa)and 3) launch of IFNA (Initiative for Food and Nutrition Security in Africa).


SAA: Sayako Tokusue
HarvestPlus: Mahwish Khan: