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Agriculture and Nutrition Resource Review

The Agriculture and Nutrition Resource Review is a monthly selection of materials to keep you updated on research and developments related to strengthening linkages between agriculture and nutrition. Resources from this month’s review are featured below. To see materials from earlier editions, or to view resources from across SPRING's technical areas, visit the Resource Review.

Interested in a broader perspective? You can find interesting resources from across SPRING’s technical areas in the Resource Review

Reports, Tools, and Other Related Materials
A diverse collection of programmatic materials and news

USAID, 2014

USAID’s annual progress report describes the Agency’s progress in furthering President Obama’s vision to end extreme poverty through its contributions in global health by ending preventable child and maternal deaths, creating an AIDS-free generation and protecting communities from infectious diseases. This report presents a summary of USAID’s key global health accomplishments in FY 2013.

The Pan American Health Organization (PAHO), the United Nations Food, Agriculture Organization (FAO), the Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean (ECLAC), and the Inter-American Institute for Cooperation on Agriculture (IICA), June 2014

This summary document examines approaches to address the double burden of malnutrition through family agriculture.  Highlighting the nutritional and health situations of the Americas and the consequences of factory farming and ultra-processed foods, the paper provides examples of how family farming can contribute to providing populations with healthy foods while also contributing to local economies and social dynamics.  While the focus is on Latin America and the Caribbean, these approaches are useful for other countries that may have similar challenges and opportunities.

Results UK, June 2014

Cambodia has enjoyed positive economic growth over the last 2 decades. And yet, 40 percent of children under five remain stunted today—a rift between prosperity and nutrition that is often observed in other settings. As one of 43 countries with a child stunting rate over 30 percent, Cambodia is nonetheless a net food exporter and has achieved  GDP growth of around 7 percent per annum since 2002. This report gives a brief assessment of the causes of malnutrition in Cambodia, and proposes both country-based and global solutions. 

The Atlantic, June 2014

This news piece highlights the production of Mi Comidita in Guatemala, a corn-soy porridge fortified with 19 vitamins and minerals and financed largely by the Canadian government and the World Health Organization. The porridge is integrated into a nutrition education program targeting pregnant and nursing mothers, in which madres consejeras (“mother counselors”) meet monthly with community groups to discuss proper nutrition. The article also weaves in the use of FANTA’s ‘Optifood’ system, which identifies best-possible diets based on local foods and prices and availability. In the end, the author suggests that local demand and education make for the best bridge across gaps in nutrition.

Transform Nutrition, April 2014

Transform Nutrition, a consortium of development partners funded by the UK and led by IFPRI, recently released a 2-page brief on current efforts to link gender and nutrition. In particular, the brief looks at the impact of cash transfers, microfinance programs, and agriculture interventions on women. A set of six recommendations is included, focusing especially on next steps in research on women and nutrition in the development context.

Food and Agriculture Organization, June 2014

The FAO recently released its proposals for the post-2015 sustainable development goals, elaborating 31 indicators and 14 ‘themes’ that cross food security, nutrition, sustainable agriculture, rural poverty, and environmental stewardship. This information follows closely on the common targets and indicators proposed by all Rome-based agencies (FAO, IFAD, WFP), also available through the link below.

Scaling Up Nutrition (SUN), May 2014

Read about why the Philippines joined SUN, catch up on recent nutrition-related global events, and check out resources geared towards linking evidence with practice.

PBS, June 2014

About half of Guatemala’s children will face physical or developmental challenges due to malnutrition, yet vegetables grown for export overflow in the countryside. Roger Thurow longtime journalist for the Wall Street Journal — and more recently the Pulitzer Center for Crisis Reporting — teams with PBS’s Hari Sreenivasan to report on efforts by the country’s leaders to reduce hunger and promote nutrition. 

The ONE Campaign, June 2014

This series of three “Agriculture 101” cartoons comes from a creative collaboration at the ONE Campaign. It serves as an engaging take on a complex problem, and can be used as to introduce new audiences to the challenges faced by families depending on their own food production the world over.

Links to presentations, proceedings, and other meeting materials

Agrilinks, June 2014

In May 2014, USAID held the first-ever Feed the Future Global forum. This 3-day event gathered together global leaders from public and private sectors to highlight scalable results, identify opportunities for stronger collaboration, and accelerate progress toward Feed the Future goals. USAID’s Agrilinks knowledge sharing platform now hosts the agenda and all related presentations, which include remarks from a variety of USAID leaders and Mission Staff as well as other thought leaders in agriculture and food security.

Online Community Corner
Discussions and resources from communities of practice and professional networks

Ag2Nut Community of Practice,  June 2014

June’s Ag2Nut Community of Practice monthly call featuring a presentation on USAID's 2014-2025 Multi-Sectoral Nutrition Strategy. Mike Manske, Nutrition Advisor in USAID's Nutrition Division of the Office of Health, Infectious Disease and Nutrition, presented the strategy, focusing on how it deals with nutrition-sensitive agriculture and the implications for partners doing agriculture-nutrition work.

WASHPlus, June 2014

This webinar included a presentation focused on addressing environmental enteropathy in CARE's Nutrition at the Center Program and new evidence linking WASH, nutrition and early child development and its connection to WASH. Presenters included Jenny Orgle, Program Director for the Nutrition at the Center Program at CARE USA, Maureen Black, Ph.D., Professor, Department of Pediatrics, University of Maryland School of Medicine, and Helen Petach, USAID, Bureau for Global Health, Office of Health Infectious Diseases and Nutrition. 

Community for Zero Hunger, June 2014

The Community for Zero Hunger has created a 5-part survey targeted towards “individuals whose primary responsibility is shaping domestic policy, designing programs, and/or implementing food, nutrition, or agriculture interventions at country or community levels.” Consider taking the time to be part of this global effort to identify gaps and challenges that affect progress in confronting malnutrition. Deadline:  August 31, 2014.

SecureNutrition Platform, June 2014

A panel of judges from World Bank’s SecureNutrition Platform, GAIN, and Save the Children have selected three winners for the 2013 Harvesting Nutrition contest, identifying projects and organizations actively bridging gaps between nutrition and agriculture and/or food security. The winners represent country- and internationally-led efforts, across three categories: potential impact, innovation, and scalability. Check the announcement for more details, and to see the impressive roster of applicants.

DGroups, June 2014

The international home food production group supports and promotes home food production, including but not limited to a mixture of home gardening, orchards, small livestock production, apiculture and aquaculture. This international home food production group will assist in sharing practical lessons, materials and methods that work (and haven't worked) aiming to ultimately connect and support the producers themselves.

Research Articles
Recent findings from academic and peer-reviewed journals

Subramania, S., Huq, S., Yatsunenko, T., et al. Nature. (June 2014) Vol. 510, pp. 417-421.

Gut bacteria and environmental enteropathy have been gaining attention as potential factors in malnutrition. In this current Bangladesh-based study, the maturity of several species of children’s gut bacteria were examined in relation to severe acute malnutrition (SAM) among children receiving food-based interventions. The results indicate a relationship between ‘immature’ gut bacteria and reduced efficacy of the interventions.