On Thursday October 6th, the ‘Foresight for Food Systems Transformation’ (FoSTr) programme was launched in Amman, Jordan during an engaging roundtable discussion on the future of food. The roundtable, titled ‘The Future of Food: Foresight for Food System Transformation in Jordan’ included key stakeholders from across the food system, including government officials, private sector players and research organizations.
Opening remarks were given by Eng. Khalid Al-Hanifat, Jordanian Minister of Agriculture, Dr. Melle Leenstra, the Dutch Agricultural Counsellor for Jordan and Egypt, and Mr. Thoodan Al-Eryani, IFAD Country Program Officer who underlined the importance of foresight in supporting food system transformation.
Dr. Walid Abed Rabboh, Advisor to the FoSTr Programme and Facilitator of the UN Food System Summit Dialogue Process in Jordan, highlighted some key trends and challenges in the Jordanian food system, which show the need for food system transformation in the country.
Dr. Jim Woodhill, Programme Lead of FoSTr, then introduced the Foresight4Food network and this programme as one of its key initiatives. He explained how the FoSTr programme aims to support food system transformation policies in Jordan thorough food system analysis, developing food system scenarios and supporting the development of a national food system transformation agenda.
After these introductions, participants were invited to discuss in smaller roundtables the question What will it take to bring about Jordan’s food system transformation? The outcomes from these discussions were very rich, ranging from more process-oriented suggestions (regional engagement, improved data systems, detailed mapping of the food system) to very practical steps (reducing food waste, decentralizing markets, digitalization) to transform the food system in Jordan.
All in all, the roundtable proved to be an inspiring and energizing launch of the FoSTr programme in Jordan.