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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

Fox, A.M., Balarajan, Y., Cheng, C., Reich, M.R. Health Policy and Planning (May 2015), Vol. 30, No. 5, pp. 566-578.

Political commitment steers nations’ strategies in nutrition program development. This article explains approaches to measuring this commitment among nations to inform practitioners’ strategies in negotiating and designing nutrition intervention programs.


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

Caritas Internationalis, May 2015

Findings of this report suggest that supporting small scale farmers is the most effective method for combating global hunger. Applying data collected from 98 international Caritas organizations, the authors share strategies for improving hunger status and food security. 

World Food Programme (WFP), May 2015

Emphasizing child undernutrition’s effects on social and economic productivity, this report illustrates consequences of child undernutrition and outlines recommendations to improve nutrition outcomes.

Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), May 2015

Through an interactive world map, users can view countries’ hunger status by share of the population. This map also features country progress in achieving hunger targets of the Millennium Development Goals (MDG), and the World Food Summit Goals. 

International Union of Forest Research Organizations (IUFRO), May 2015

IUFRO examines food security, hunger, nutrition, and the impact that forests, trees, and landscapes can have on improving global nutrition outcomes. The authors suggest that although agricultural programs combat hunger and malnutrition, forests, trees, and landscapes should also be considered when designing development programs. 

Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), May 2015

Natural hazards and disasters impact agricultural productivity, which affects populations’ access to nutritious food. This brochure details the repercussions that natural hazards and disasters cause within the context of agriculture and nutrition and outlines strategies to mitigate the severity of their impact.

Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), and International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI), May 2015

This study explores overcoming constraints between linking agricultural outcomes with improved nutrition results. Drawing upon case studies of Ethiopia, Kenya, and Uganda, this brief outlines key components of approaches that work to successfully integrate agriculture and nutrition activities and recommendations to foster more cross-sector dialog.

Chicago Council on Global Affairs, May 2015 

Harnessing and expanding upon agriculture technologies may increase production of nutritious foods. This research brief advocates for the United States to increase its research and development efforts to further agricultural innovation in order to boost the global food supply.

International Panel of Experts on Sustainable Food Systems, May 2015

This report outlines cross-sectoral interventions necessary to improve world food systems and calls upon actors to bridge the gap between scientific research and policy implementation. Within its outlined approaches, the report specifically focuses on food systems’ relation to health, farmers’ livelihoods, and nutrition.

United Nations System Standing Committee on Nutrition (UNSCN), SCN News, May 2015 

This issue of the SCN News highlights the significant role that nutrition-sensitive intervention play in the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). In the 100-page publication, experts highlight the importance of focusing on furthering nutrition related programming across development sectors as the world moves towards the finalization and implementation of the SDGs. 

Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), May 2015

FAO lists the key factors for achieving food security and nutrition including: agricultural productivity growth, economic growth, markets, and social protection. Examining undernourishment and the prevalence of underweight children under five years of age, the SOFI report measures progress toward Millennium Development Goal (MDG) One and World Food Summit hunger targets and suggests policy interventions. 

Feed the Future, May 2015

Drip irrigation increases smallholder farmers’ access to water, which can ultimately lead to increases in farmers’ income and community members’ access to nutritious foods. This blog post explains how The Toro Company partnered with Feed the Future and iDE to provide drip irrigation kits and training to smallholder farmers in Zambia. 

International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI), May 2015

Uptake of nutrition-sensitive behaviors can take interesting forms. Pop stars created songs and movies about local nutrient-rich foods to inspire behavior change in Nigeria and Rwanda. HarvestPlus collaborated with pop artists to promote movies focusing on vitamin A-rich cassava in Nigeria and songs about high-iron beans in Rwanda.

The New York Times, May 2015

Food storage is an integral component of securing food availability throughout the year. This article discusses the behavior shifts that must occur in order for food storage to become more widespread and features the positive impact that food storage can have on nutrition, farmers’ incomes, and livelihoods. This article focuses its analysis on work currently conducted in Tanzania.

High Level Panel of Experts on Food Security and Nutrition (HLPE), May 2015

Water dictates agricultural production, and access to water directly affects nutritional status. This report examines the connection between water, food security, and nutrition, and provides both intervention and policy implementation guidance. 

Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), May 2015

Highlighting key findings of the recently released The State of Food Insecurity in the World 2015, this article discusses the prevalence of undernourishment, countries’ progress toward meeting Millennium Development Goal (MDG) targets, and how specific interventions such as agriculture investments have affected global nutrition.

Links to presentations, proceedings, and other meeting materials

SPRING, May 2015

Speakers shared justifications for conducting nutrition causal analysis to improve nutrition programming on this Ag2Nut community call. Performing these analyses facilitates the collection of baseline undernutrition data and helps to inform practitioners’ design of context-specific nutrition programs. 

Agrilinks, May 2015

Biofortified food crops are rich in vitamins and are used in 25 countries. During this webinar, presenters discussed biofortification’s nutritional and economic benefits and provided an overview of perspectives of biofortification that range from farmers to government officials.

United States Agency for International Development (USAID), May 

Approaches combining WASH and nutrition interventions are necessary to improve population’s nutritional status. This webinar focused on connecting WASH and nutrition approaches when designing health programs targeted at combating malnutrition. 

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

Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) of the United Nations, May 2015

Through June 5, this forum is open for practitioners to discuss innovations in agriculture to improve nutrition outcomes, with a focus on South Asia. FAO is working with Leveraging Agriculture for Nutrition in South Asia (LANSA), to design agriculture interventions that will lead to improved nutritional statuses among target populations.