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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

IFPRI, April 2014

The authors of this paper aim to empirically infer causal linkages between fruit and vegetable production, individual intake, food security, and anemia. Qualitative research and econometric methods—including the recently-developed ‘Household Food Insecurity Access Scale’—find higher levels of hemoglobin in women in productive Ugandan households. These trends could be further supported by intensifying production.

International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD), July 2014

The International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) hosted an intensive training at its Rome headquarters in July 2014, with the goal of ‘growing’ a pool of experts able to capably advise nutrition-sensitive projects – particularly around program design. Participants from around the world included agronomists, economists, nutritionists, and agricultural investment planners, among others. This short summary article from IFAD describes some of the proceedings, and highlights thoughts from training organizers and facilitators.

Stanford Center on Food Security and the Environment, July 2014

As both global and national development practitioners seek to benefit from multisectoral thinking, one researcher based at Stanford University (California, United States) has done the same with 18 of her academic colleagues. Her recently published book, The Evolving Sphere of Food Security weaves together expertise and perspective from medicine, political science, engineering, law, economics, and climate science—all aimed towards an inclusive understanding of the evolving challenges around food security.

Popular Science, August 2014

Every year, the planet loses nearly a third of its food—a staggering 1.4 billion tons. That’s according to a 2011 United Nations study that assessed food networks in 152 countries. This infographic reveals where in the food-supply chain farmers, engineers, and consumers might more effectively get comestibles into mouths.

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

Ag2Nut Community of Practice, July 2014

On July 30th, 2014, SPRING hosted the Ag2Nut Community of Practice's monthly call featuring two presentations; one on the Ugandan Food Trade System and the other on a New Dietary Diversity Score. Terri Ballard, a member of the core Women's Dietary Diversity Project team and part of the Statistics Division at FAO, shared outcomes from a mid-July meeting in Washington, DC, where she presented "Reaching Consensus on a Global Dietary Diversity Indicator for Women."  Timothy Sparkman, Chief of Party at Mercy Corps Uganda, presented recent work on mapping the food trade network in the Karamoja region of north-eastern Uganda, which has helped identify leverage points for pro-poor market development. The webinar recording, notes and presentations are available on the SPRING website.

WASHplus, August 2014

Check out the early August update from the WASHplus community, with a special eye towards hand washing—increasingly discussed as a practical household behavior linked to good nutritional and health status. A range of research articles and reports are available, along with a twice-yearly literature review (peer-reviewed and grey) from the Partnership for Handwashing.

FSN Network, August 2014

Following on to the TOPS/FSN Network Knowledge Sharing Meeting in July 2014, the TOPS Program has posted several questions to the online discussion forum of the FSN Network Portal in an effort to open up the conversation to all implementers of FFP-funded projects. Of particular interest is one discussion that centers around the concept of utilization and nutrition security. Join the conversation and share your thoughts with FFP through the FSN Network Portal by Friday, September 5.

Global Forum on Food Security and Nutrition, August 2014

The Second International Conference on Nutrition (ICN2) is set to be held November 19-21, 2014 in Rome, with representation from a range of country governments, international organizations, and other high-level actors. Leading up to this major event, the ICN2 organizers have released a draft Declaration and an accompanying Framework for Action to help guide dialogue. Comments on the Framework were gathered through the Global Forum, and are available for review at the link below.

Research Articles
Recent findings from academic and peer-reviewed journals

Siegel, KR., Ali, MK., Srinivasiah, A., Nugent, RA., Narayan, KMV. PLoS ONE. (August 2014) Vol. 9, No. 8, e104059.

The authors of this article begin with what seems like a basic question: Are there enough fruits and vegetables being supplied to meet nutrition recommendations? Pulling from data sources published through FAO and WHO, they estimate a 22% global supply gap (average) between what is produced and what is needed. The authors point out significant variation by country and income levels, and the need to address policy levers that can prevent widening gaps in fruit and vegetable availability.

Tai, APK., Martin, MV., Heald, CL. Nature Climate Change. (March 2014) Vol. 3, pp. 817-821

The authors of this letter to Nature Climate Change link vulnerabilities in food production to climate change as well as air pollution. They also note that while these issues are understood as threats to global food security, our detailed understanding of interactions between climate and ozone pollution is limited, as are their independing effects on different crops and different regions. Their letter presents an integrated analysis of climate and ozone trends from 2000-2050.

Links to presentations, proceedings, and other meeting materials

IFPRI, May 2014

IFPRI organized a 3-day conference focused on resilience and nutrition security, as part of its “2020 Vision Initiative”. Discussion between participants revolved around emerging shocks, tools for resilience, knowledge gaps, and global priorities for progress. A short video is available that highlights speakers from the conference who represent government, the private sector, international NGOs, and other global stakeholders.

A Look Back
Seminal literature with lasting relevance

Pinstrup-Andersen, P. In Nutrition and Development, edited by Margaret Biswas and Per Pinstrup-Andersen, 43-59. Oxford: United Nations University Press, 1985 

In this 17-page book chapter written in 1985, the author reviews shifts in developing countries away from subsistence food production and towards agricultural commodites for sale. He explores big-picture effects on overall food availability and the impact of food imports or food aid, but also comments on intra-houshold decision-making and the time-use of individual family members. Many of these same conversations continue today--in particular, the variable impact of increased income on household nutrition.