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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

ICF International, December 2014

The role of nutrition-sensitive interventions in achieving global nutrition targets has been made abundantly clear. WASH is a cross-cutting area with a significant impact.  This report provides information on the nutritional status of women and children, with data disaggregated by selected WASH indicators from the DHS.

International Food Policy Research Institute, January 2015

This IFPRI Discussion Paper explores how a value chain framework can inform the design of interventions for achieving improved nutrition. The three main channels for value chains to improve nutrition are: 1) through increased consumption of nutrition foods; or 2) through increased incomes from value chain transactions; or 3) through increased nutrition value-addition in the chain transactions. The authors highlight how the main pathways are context specific and introduce typologies based on the supply and demand profile of the specific value chain. 

United Nations Standing Committee on Nutrition, February 2015

The Key Recommendations for Improving Nutrition through Agriculture and Food Systems, facilitated by Anna Herforth are now available in Spanish and French. 

International Food Policy Research Institute, December 2014

This study examines the relationship between pre-school children’s food consumption and household agricultural production. The authors found that an increase in household production diversity led to considerable improvements in children’s dietary diversity. However, they also noted how the link between consumption and production does not hold for households that have access to food markets. 

Global Panel on Agriculture and Food Systems for Nutrition, February 2015 

This policy brief lays out technical evidence and arguments for expanding support for biofortification as an element of nutrition-sensitive national agricultural research and investment strategies. It recommends that policymakers implement biofortification as one of several complementary approaches to reduce micronutrient deficiencies.

The Guardian, February 2015

This article describes a project in sub Saharan Africa that is promoting biofortified orange-fleshed sweet potatoes (OFSP) to contribute to reducing malnutrition. The author explores the important benefits of consuming the beta–carotene rich food, but also the challenges inherent in promoting a crop unfamiliar to many in the region and of limited interest to the private sector.  

Links to presentations, proceedings, and other meeting materials

Feed the Future Nutrition Innovation Lab, November 2014

The Feed the Future Nutrition Innovation Lab held its 3rd Scientific Symposium in Nepal in November 2014. The event included over 300 participants with 24 oral presentations and 21 poster presentations focused on the event theme, Agriculture, Food Systems and, Nutrition: Connecting the Evidence for Action.

Save the Children, December 2015

The report from Save the Children’s technical symposium ‘What is Good for Nutrition” held on December 3, 2014, highlights the value of viewing nutrition-sensitive interventions as the foundation upon which nutrition-specific activities are built. The symposium report provides links to the keynote address and presentations on Save the Children’s bilateral nutrition programs, FHI 360’s Alive & Thrive program, and the SPRING project. 

Agrilinks, February 2015

The International Year of Soils is 2015. Soil fertility management is important in transferring nutrients from soils to food and on to humans. This event with Keith Moore of Virginia Tech and Ephraim Nkonya of IFPRI highlighted good social management practices and issues that keep farmers from adopting this nutrition-sensitive intervention. 

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

Ag2Nut Community of Practice, February 2015

The SecureNutrition Platform Harvesting Nutrition Contest award ceremony on February 19, 2015, showcased three agriculture-nutrition projects that demonstrated outstanding innovation, potential for impact, or scalability. Jim Levinson, Research Professor from Tufts, moderated a discussion on key insights from the Harvesting Nutrition event, including how the winning projects seem to be achieving success and how their lessons learned can be applied in different contexts.

Research Articles
Recent findings from academic and peer-reviewed journals

Lansa Working Paper Series, January 2015.

Does women’s work in agriculture help or hinder nutrition in Pakistan? The paper examines various linkages between agricultural labor and childcare using insights gained from qualitative research in two high productivity agricultural areas of the country. 

Food Security, December 2014

Home-based vegetable production has been lauded as a nutrition- and gender-sensitive intervention, yet evidence is lacking. This study tested whether women’s training in improved home gardens contributes to increased production and consumption of vegetables in Bangladesh. The authors found training had a significant impact on the diversity of vegetables consumed.