Skip to main content

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

Research Articles
Recent findings from academic and peer-reviewed journals

Baye, K., Retta, N., Abuye, C. Food and Nutrition Bulletin. (September 2014) Vol. 35, No. 3, pp. 289-295.

Using data from a survey of 195 beneficiary households, researchers found that households receiving cash had better dietary diversity scores than households receiving food, however they were also more affected by food price increases forcing them to reduce their number of daily meals, offsetting the benefits of cash transfers.  

Popkin, B. Food Policy. (August 2014) Vol. 49 No. 1, pp. 91-96.

This short commentary examines current research and policy that ignore rapid shifts in food value chains and diets in low and middle income countries.  Many of the issues addressed by the nutrition community ignore some of the major underlying shifts in purchases of consumer packaged foods and beverages. At the same time, the drivers of the food system at the farm level might be changing. There is a need for the agriculture and nutrition communities to understand these changes and focus on some of their implications for health

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

MEASURE Evaluation, September 2014

The Western Highlands Integrated Program (WHIP) baseline survey experience in Guatemala yielded important lessons about how to implement effective large-scale evaluation approaches. This case study summarizes the lessons learned.

FAO, September 2014

The most recent edition of FAO’s yearly ‘State of Food and Agriculture’ series, this 57-page document presents updated undernutrition estimates and further insight in the suite of food security indicators introduced in the 2013 report. In addition, the report highlights country-specific findings from Bolivia, Brazil, Haiti, Indonesia, Madagscar, Malawi, and Yemen along with key findings across all countries. 

HarvestPlus, September 2014

Originally developed for the Second Global Conference on Biofortification, this substantial collection of 1-3 page briefs highlights progress on a wide range of themes. In addition to individual updates on 12 biofortified crops, there are also briefs on consumer acceptance, nutrition, cost-effectiveness, and product delivery. Readers interested in learning more about these topics can follow the references to journal articles and working papers that underpin many of the briefs.

Feed the Future, September 2014

This short article describes the Cambodia HARVEST program that is working with Cambodian farmers to change the practice of cultivating rice only by promoting crop diversification as part of a broader agricultural technical package. Crop diversification encourages farmers to plant a number of crops including different varieties of rice and vegetables throughout the year, reducing the risk that a particularly long, hot dry season will threaten their food security or incomes.

Interpress News Service, September 2014

Panama is the first Latin American country to have adopted a national strategy to combat what is known as hidden hunger, with a plan aimed at eliminating micronutrient deficiencies among the most vulnerable segments of the population by means of biofortification of food crops. The Agro Nutre Panamá program coordinates the improvement of food quality among the poor, who are concentrated in rural and indigenous areas, by adding iron, vitamin A, and zinc to seeds.

FANTA and FAO, July 2014

The result of a joint FANTA-FAO meeting in July of 2014, the Minimum Dietary Diversity – Women (MDD-W) was endorsed by a wide range of stakeholders and is now available for use in large-scale surveys and other research. The indicator states that women consuming five of ten identified food groups are more likely to meet their overall micronutrient needs., August 2014

This blog post from’s resident food columnist, Nathanael  Johnson, places many of the major questions around agricultural production, food access, and income in an approachable light. A series of additional posts follow, continuing to explore related subjects in greater depth. 

Links to presentations, proceedings, and other meeting materials

FAO, September 2014

FAO hosted a two-day International Symposium on Agroecology for Food Security and Nutrition, culminating in a high-level round table that discussed recent experiences and experiments in the field with agriculture ministers from several countries. FAO hosted the symposium as a means to allow experts and advocates to debate Agroecology which seeks to apply ecological concepts and principles to the design and management of sustainable food systems.

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

Global Forum on Food Security and Nutrition, September 2014

In support of the International Year of Family Farming, FAO’s Global Forum has teamed up with the Food Tank site to promote debate on policies and technology that support farming communities. Participants are asked to respond to several guiding questions, with an eye towards making farming not just equitable for men and women, but also appealing to youths. Case studies especially welcome.

WASHplus, September 2014

The September WASHplus community update focuses on linkages between WASH and nutrition. This edition includes links to a research article on child undernutrition and the gut microbiome, a handwashing planner’s guide, new ideas on ‘tippy-taps’, and a multidisciplinary analysis of stunting reduction in India.

Ag2Nut Community of Practice, September 2014

Nutrition-sensitive program designers and advisors are currently needed to assist with many multisectoral efforts underway. Presenters from FAO, IFAD, IFPRI, and Tufts University shared their experience organizing and running a training workshop oriented towards developing a cadre of program professionals who are equipped to bridge different sectors in the context of both new and ongoing activities.   

A Look Back
Seminal literature with lasting relevance

Michon, G., Mary, F., Bompard, J. Agroforestry Systems. (1986) pp. 315-338 

While home gardens are often a go-to for both nutrition and income generation activities, they have also been studied in the context of different ecologies. This paper explores a traditional agroforestry garden system that provides “both subsistence and commercial products, which supplement rice production.” As the links between nutrition, income and environmental stewardship become better understood, this type of system thinking may provide ideas.