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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

Olney, D.K, Pedehombga, A., Ruel, M.T., & Dillon, A. The Journal of Nutrition (June 2015) Vol. 145, No.6, pp. 1317-1324.

A program involving agriculture, nutrition, and health behavior change communication (BCC) is shown to improve child health and nutrition outcomes. This study reveals that an integrated agriculture homestead food production and BCC reduced wasting, diarrhea, and anemia, especially among the youngest children.

Du, L., Pinga, V., Klein, A., & Danton, H. Advances in Food and Nutrition Research (January 2015).

In this book chapter, SPRING authors present the current understanding of linkages between agriculture and nutrition, and the Feed the Future initiative’s efforts to strengthen the nutritional impact of agriculture and economic growth activities. The authors provide an updated framework to reference when aiming to improve nutrition outcomes through agricultural programming within the context of food systems. 

Jones, K.M. & Brauw, A. World Development (full issue forthcoming October 2015; article available now) Vol. 74, pp. 15-24.

This study in northern Mozambique examines biofortification’s effect on reducing vitamin A deficiency in children under age five and women of reproductive age.

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

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

Last month, FAO released The State of Food Insecurity in the World 2015, which listed agricultural productivity growth, economic growth, markets, and social protection as key factors to achieving food security and nutrition goals. This month, FAO published regional reports overviewing food insecurity in the following areas: Africa, Asia and the Pacific, Europe and Central Asia, Latin America and the Caribbean, and Near East and North Africa.

SPRING, June 2015

This report reviews two Feed the Future projects in Guatemala and emphasizes the importance of increasing the nutrition sensitivity across all stages of value chains. The report maps out the application of this nutrition sensitivity within the context of two projects in Guatemala.  

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

This interactive self-training tool is designed to deepen users’ understanding of the multisectoral causes of malnutrition and equip learners with broader participatory facilitation skills. FAO designed this tool for practitioners and partners working across development sectors.

Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, June 2015

Over the next six years, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation will increase its investments in nutrition programs to $776 million. This investment will specifically bolster funding for programs focused on agriculture, data collection for evidence building, and improving the nutritional status of women, children, and adolescent girls. 

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

Concentrated within West Africa and the Sahel, this report shares strategies for multisectoral integration of nutrition. The report includes both a review of programs and an outline for related data collection from similar programs. 

CARE International, June 2015

FFBS is aimed at increasing community nutrition through enhanced local smallholder farmer agricultural practices. Targeting community-based trainers, country office staff, and local NGO workers, this toolkit guides users through planning and completion of FFBS activities. The three shared FFBS tools address agriculture, gender, and monitoring and evaluation.  

SciDev.Net, June 2015

Oftentimes food quantity is prioritized over food quality. This article highlights the importance of food quality, and advocates for increased innovation and research to emphasize the importance of nutritious foods, and agriculture’s role in providing nutritious foods.

Institute of Medicine and National Research Council of National Academies, June 2015

Focusing on the United States, this book provides a framework to assess the multiple  factors that impact the food system. A Framework for Assessing Effects of the Food System provides a brief history of the United States’ food system and recognizes the primary goal of agricultural production: to provide a source of adequate nutrition for the population.

The Christian Science Monitor, June 2015

Multisectoral programmatic approaches can bring about improved nutritional outcomes. This article features Bangladesh as a promising example in achieving nutritional outcomes as the country combines approaches such as access to markets, economic growth, and enhanced agricultural practices.

The White House, June 2015

This declaration documents the Group of Seven (G7) leaders’ commitment to improving nutrition through its Broad Food Security and Nutrition Development Approach. This approach emphasizes the inclusion of multiple sectors to further nutrition outcomes, especially the sectors of agriculture and food value chains.

The Chicago Council on Global Affairs, June 2015

This blog post emphasizes that more data is necessary to illustrate the impact that agricultural programs have on nutritional outcomes. These data sets may be collected across agriculture, food systems, health, and nutrition programs, and should be collected across multiple levels. 

National Geographic, June 2015

Empowering smallholder farmers through access to mobile technology can further nutrition outcomes. This article examines the experience of female smallholder farmers in Tanzania and encourages the application of mobile technology to further develop agriculture and nutrition programming. 

Cable News Network (CNN), June 2015

This article features approaches to combat severe chronic malnutrition in Guatemala, some of which include agricultural practices. Other featured approaches include improved education, healthy pregnancies, and proper water, sanitation, and hygiene (WASH) practices.

Scaling up Nutrition (SUN), June 2015

This toolkit serves as guidance in measuring progress towards achieving the sustainable development goals (SDGs). The toolkit aims to facilitate multi-stakeholder collaboration to further improved nutrition outcomes.

AGree, June 2015

This publication advocates for further investment in research and innovation to meet the challenges that populations face related to agriculture, food, health, and nutrition.

TakePart, June 2015

This article features the role of agriculture and smallholder farmers in improving global nutrition outcomes. Citing the recent United Nation’s report, The State of Food Insecurity in the World in 2015, many countries have met the Millennium Development Goal (MDG) of halving malnutrition, which was largely affected by individuals’ access to small-scale farming. 

Links to presentations, proceedings, and other meeting materials

LCIRAH, June 2015

This event examined lessons learned across agriculture, health, and nutrition research over the past five years. Specific event presentations addressed the integration of gender into agriculture and nutrition programs, monitoring of nutrition-sensitive food systems, and nutrition-sensitive agriculture policy. View the event resources to access the conference’s abstracts, presentations, and program.

International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI), June 2015

Application of the value chain approach can be integral to achieving key nutrition outcomes. This event shared value chain project results, challenges, and successes, and outlined policy reforms to enhance nutritional status in Africa South of the Sahara. The event’s resources include associated papers and presentations.

SPRING, June 2015

To improve nutrition through agricultural programs, it is paramount to understand local contexts. This webinar featured SPRING’s context assessment guide, online platform, and interactive tool. The context assessment is targeted to multisectoral designers and implementers, and most specifically those within agriculture-nutrition projects. 

MEAS, June 2015

The 2015 MEAS Symposium reflected on MEAS project activities, and examined how to further strengthen extension systems. Event presentation topics include nutrition integration, and improvement of nutrition through the shifting of gender roles.

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

Catholic Relief Services (CRS), June 2015

Abstracts for the 2015 Integrated Nutrition Conference will be accepted through July 3, 2015. The conference will focus on the integration of nutrition-sensitive programs across multiple sectors such as agriculture, child development, health, and water, sanitation, and hygiene (WASH). 

Agriculture-Nutrition Community of Practice, June 2015

This Ag2Nut community call examined livestock’s role in the availability of diverse and nutritious foods. The webinar featured Dr. Chetana Mirle of Humane Society International, who discussed an animal welfare case in India and its potential effect on affordability of nutritious foods, household nutritional status, and production costs for farmers.

Innovative Methods and Metrics for Agriculture and Nutrition Actions (IMMANA), June 2015

This academy aims to further conversations and research regarding the intersection of agriculture, health, and nutrition. View the academy’s webpage to join the academy, or view the video of the academy’s launch.