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The Institute for Democracy and Economic Affairs (IDEAS) will be hosting a webinar titled “Ensuring Food Security and Access during the COVID-19 Crisis” on Friday, 3 April 2020, 11.00 am – 12.30 pm.

The webinar will discuss food security during COVID-19, the domestic supply chain of food and agriculture as well as issues in regards to access to food, focusing on the vulnerable groups such as Orang Asli and indigenous people, senior citizens, the homeless and refugees. The panellists are as follows:

  • David Dawe, Senior Economist and Regional Strategy & Policy Advisor, FAO

He worked previously for the Harvard Institute for International Development and the International Rice Research Institute, and has spent most of this professional career working on food policy in Asia. He has published books and research articles in the areas of trade and markets, domestic price policy, production and natural resources (fertilizer and water management, climate) and nutrition. He was formerly an editor of the journal Global Food Security.

  • Dr. Sarena Che Omar, Senior Research Associate, Khazanah Research Institute

Her areas of interests are policies related to food, agriculture, and sustainability. Dr Sarena acquired her DPhil from University of Oxford in Plant Science. Her PhD work used genetic technologies to explore the frontiers of fungal disease control in the globally important crop: rice. Due to this, she has expanded interests in the areas of crop productivity, debates on genetic modification, and issues on food security. Prior to this, Dr Sarena completed her Bachelor of Science in Biotechnology (Agri) at Lincoln University, New Zealand.

  • Yeong Sheng Tey, Senior Researcher, Institute of Agricultural and Food Policy Studies of Universiti Putra Malaysia

His consultancy work involved value chain and market development for private firms (e.g., Khazanah and Petronas), public agencies (e.g., the Ministry of Plantation Industries and Commodities and Economic Planning Unit), international bodies (e.g., the World Bank and the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations), and certification entities (e.g., the Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil). He has recently been appointed as an independent director of Simple Farm Sdn Bhd, which is the largest fully integrated banana company in Malaysia. Leveraged on his investing and business experience, his present academic research includes studying the competitiveness of oil palm growers with respect to standard adoption. He also pursues interests infusing innovative institutions, policies and strategies for agro-enterprise development.

Moderated by Wan Ya Shin, IDEAS Research Manager.

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