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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

Research Articles
Recent findings from academic and peer-reviewed journals

Snapp, S.S., Fisher, M. Food Security (February 2015), Vol. 7, No. 1, pp 83-96.

Food security and dietary quality are broadly supported development goals, yet few studies have addressed how agricultural subsidy policies and promotion of modern crop varieties impact smallholder farm production and household diversity. An integrated household survey conducted multiple times in Malawi provides evidence-based insights into the complex interactions between agriculture and nutrition.

Boedecker, J., Termote, C., Assogbadjo, A.E., Damme, P.V., Lachat, C. Food Security (February 2015), Vol. 7, No. 1, pp 833-849.

The international community increasingly recognizes the role that agro-biodiversity and Wild Edible Plants (WEPs) play in their contributions to managing risk and building resilience and sustainable food systems. Studies on real contributions of WEPs to peoples’ diets, however, are uncommon. This study assessed the contribution of WEPs to diets of women living in the buffer zone of the Lama forest in southern Benin.

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

International Food Policy Research Institute, March 2015

IFPRI’s flagship annual report includes topics on the importance of WASH and nutrition, food safety, and policies influencing sustainable aquaculture. The report also presents data for several key food policy indicators, including country-level data on hunger, agricultural research spending, and capacity for food policy research.

International Food Policy Research Institute, January 2015

This paper introduces an applied framework, named the Kaleidoscope Model, to analyze drivers of change in the food security arena, with a specific emphasis on agriculture and nutrition policies. Focusing on five key elements of the policy cycle—agenda setting, design, adoption, implementation, and evaluation and reform—the model identifies key variables that define the necessary and sufficient conditions for policy change to occur.

International Food Policy Research Institute, March 2015

This paper aims to connect the dots and review the literature available on the linkages between irrigation and food security, improved nutrition, and health. Based on the limited evidence available, six factors that should be taken into account are identified. These factors, developed with a focus on sub-Saharan Africa, strive to address nutrition and gender gaps in irrigation interventions.

Feed the Future Innovation Lab for Small-Scale Irrigation, March 2015 

Garden kits that pay specific attention to small-scale irrigation might hold the key to stronger food security for smallholder farmers. A new study recommends an approach to building better home gardens that considers many contributing factors including: building on current farming practices, examining the roles of men, women, and children in gardening, calculating current productivity of gardens, examining how produce is used, examining current water management practices and problems, and taking into account farmers’ perceptions of their gardens’ viability.   

United Nations Standing Committee on Nutrition, March 2015

A technical note and policy brief describe nutrition targets and indicators in the context of the Sustainable Development Goals. Priority indicators include those related to diet quality and diversity with growing recognition for the need to address the links between adequate nutrition, real food needs, food production, and sustainable agriculture. 

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

Patrick Webb provides rationale and resources to better understand why new global nutrition targets must represent the core nutrition metrics for the sustainable Development Goals.

Emergency Nutrition Network, March 2015

This article profiles an FAO-led project designed  to improve food security and nutritional status and decrease aid dependency in households in mid-western Nepal. The project focuses on enhancing crop and livestock production, increasing availability of diverse nutritious foods, improving household self-sufficiency, and increasing nutrition knowledge and awareness. In addition, this edition also highlights SPRING’s report on developing a typology to better understand multi-sectoral programing in Burkina Faso.


The Chicago Council on Global Affairs, March, 2015

The Chicago Council has launched a new project, "Global Food Security by the Numbers," to map current U.S .investments and generate discussion about the types of activities and agencies engaged in global food security efforts. The Council expects to release the findings in summer 2015.

Food and Agriculture Organization, March 2015

FAO’s Nutrition and Agricultural Economics Divisions commissioned a stocktaking of food and agriculture policy mapping initiatives, with the objectives of understanding what information is available and how that information can be used to inform nutrition agriculture planning. Findings show that multiple initiatives are underway to map and analyze food and agriculture policies. Many of these initiatives’ outputs represent an untapped resource for better understanding how food and agriculture policies impact the producer and consumer behaviours which shape food environments and eventually, nutrition.

Biodiversity for Food and Nutrition Initiative, February 2015

The Global Environment Facility (GEF), the world’s largest public funder of international environmental projects, is supporting the Mainstreaming Biodiversity Conservation and Sustainable Use for Improved Nutrition and Well-Being Initiative led by Brazil, Kenya, Sri Lanka and Turkey. Biodiversity International is coordinating the project with implementation support from the United Nations Environment Programme and the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations.

Links to presentations, proceedings, and other meeting materials

SPRING, February 2015

In this webinar, Tufts University's Will Masters discussed a typology of interventions and metrics that builds on his work with the Nutrition Innovation Lab, helping to inform the design of future multi­sector interventions. In 2013 researchers applied this metric of integration in an internal review of 17 projects implemented by Catholic Relief Services (CRS) across Africa, Asia, and Latin America. Senior Technical Advisor Valerie Rhoe­ Davis discussed the results of the pilot test.

SPRING, March 2015

In 2014, the World Bank’s SecureNutrition Platform, in collaboration with the World Bank Library and Archives of Development, led a review to present a summary on how agricultural and food-based approaches to nutrition have been addressed by the nutrition and agriculture sectors of the World Bank. This webinar featured lead author Anna Herforth’s overview of the report and launch of the digital timeline that allows audiences to access the information in an interactive format.

CGIAR, January 2015

The Independent Science and Partnership Council (ISPC) of the CGIAR based on the ISPC/A4NH (Agriculture for Nutrition and Health) held a 2-day meeting in September 2014 focused on the challenge of identifying how agricultural research can contribute to improved human nutrition. Presentations and discussion centered around two key questions– 1) what are the priority questions for research to address, in order to increase access to an affordable, nutritious and safe diet; and, 2) how do we evaluate the impact of agricultural interventions and investments on nutrition? A distillation of the presentations and discussion is now available. 

Center for Integrated Modeling of Sustainable Agriculture and Nutrition Security, March 2015

In February 2015, 40 agriculture and nutrition scientists from public sector, governmental, and private sector organizations explored new metrics for identifying sustainable nutrition security. The purpose of the workshop was to allow a broad set of stakeholders to provide comments and input on how best to facilitate the transformation of seven proposed metrics into particular mathematical expressions or modeling approaches – which can then be applied to available integrated modeling methodologies.

TOPS, March 2015

This two-day event allowed sharing around principles, design and practices for building resilience in smallholder farming systems with a focus on farm system design and agroecological methods. The event focused on application of the principles to enhance impact in Food for Peace programs and the practices explored included those that would contribute to better human nutrition.

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

Global Forum on Food and Nutrition, March 2015

FAO and UNEP are jointly developing a programme on sustainable food systems under the 10-Year Framework of Programmes on Sustainable Consumption and Production Patterns (10YFP). In this context, FAO and UNEP are seeking inputs on a draft concept note of the Programme and invite individuals to take part in a stocktaking exercise of initiatives related to sustainable food systems.