University of the Philippines Los Baños
Wednesday, 01 March 2017 00:00

FAO orients UPLB faculty on food security tools, protocols

UPLB’s quest to expand scholarship on food security would not be complete without collaborating with the world’s authority on the topic – the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO).

On Feb. 20, FAO introduced the Integrated Food Security Phase Classification (IPC) during an orientation program at the International Rice Research Institute, Los Banos, Laguna.

IPC is a set of tools and protocols to classify the severity and causes of food insecurity. It helps in analyzing and making effective decisions during food security situations.

The orientation program, which is part of the project, “IPC in Asia: Special focus to strengthen IPC capacity,” had for its participants UPLB faculty members involved in food and nutrition security studies and those who could teach non-degree IPC courses.

The participants were from the Colleges of Agriculture and Food Science (CAFS), Economics and Management (CEM) and Human Ecology (CHE).

At least five UPLB faculty members are trained and experienced in IPC.

Chancellor Fernando C. Sanchez, Jr., in his welcome remarks delivered by Dr. Marish S. Madlangbayan, vice chancellor for planning and development, underscored the country’s participation in implementing and adopting IPC, and UPLB’s expanded role in IPC.

“UPLB has been engaged in IPC since it was implemented in the Philippines. The University is a veritable hub for IPC training and we welcome this opportunity to strengthen our teaching and research approaches to food security and nutrition analysis,” he said.

The speech further noted that IPC has been integrated into the course DMG 225 (Governance of Food Systems) at the College of Public Affairs and Development. It also reiterated that UPLB had established the Interdisciplinary Studies Center on Food and Nutrition Security (ISCFNS).

Dr. Ma. Theresa M. Talavera, associate professor at CHE-Institute of Human Nutrition and Food (IHNF), shared her project experience in 2010 as an IPC Level 1 data analyst. According to her, she was able to apply the food security assessment tools she learned from IPC in the graduate classes that she handled. She also encouraged her fellow faculty members to use the available IPC results in their research.

Present during the event were Dr. Domingo E. Angeles, chair of the ISCFNS and former dean of CAFS; Dr.  Normahitta P. Gordoncillo, director of CHE-IHNF and an IPC data analyst; and orientation speakers, namely: Hygeia Ceres Catalina B. Gawe, coordinator, IPC secretariat at the National Nutrition Council (NNC); Nusha Choudhury, IPC regional coordinator at FAO-Regional Office for Asia and the Pacific; and Leah M. Felisimino and Alberto C. Aduna, IPC national data analyst and emergency coordinator of FAO Philippines, respectively.

A follow-up workshop and training for prospective IPC analysts will be held on March 20-24 and April 3-7 in Manila. FAO, CHE-IHNF and NNC co-organized the event. (KEAraguas)