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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

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

SPRING Project, October 2015

2015 is the International Year of Soils, in recognition of the fundamental role our soils play in delivering ecosystem services that enable life on Earth. One of these critical ecosystem services is the provision of food: 95% of our food is estimated to be directly or indirectly produced on our soils. Soil health is key for nutrition, both as a key determinant of agricultural productivity and nutrient content of foods. But our soils are under threat. The October 2015 Ag2Nut call was held on this topic.

Research Articles
Recent findings from academic and peer-reviewed journals

Okello, J. Shikuku, K.M. Sindi, K.M. Low, J. African Journal of Food, Agriculture, Nutrition and Development Vol. 15 No. 4. 

Farmers in the Lake Zone of Tanzania were sampled for their perceptions towards the production and consumption of Orange-Flesh Sweet Potato (OFSP). In general, farmers' perceptions were positive for such attributes as taste, yield, storability, disease resistance, and popularity. The study finds that farmers that participated in an OFSP project were more positive about its superior nutritional value and popularity among children.

Mayne, J. Johnson, N. The Tavistock Institute Evaluation 21 (4): 407–28. 

This article reviews various theory of change models for agriculture and nutrition interventions and provides an analysis of their applicability. Evidence-based theories of change are discussed and the need for adapting a theory of change for a particular purpose are discussed.

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

CARE International and CGIAR, October 2015

Inequality determines who eats and what they eat—this in turn affects peoples’ resilience in the face of climate change and other environmental factors. This report recommends priorities beyond food production such as women’s empowerment, policymaking power for small-scale producers, and climate action to answer inequality.

Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, October 2015

Monotonous diets fail to provide sufficient micronutrients. Consequently, dietary diversity is crucial for vulnerable groups, in particular women of reproductive age. This report reviews results of the Women’s Dietary Diversity Project and explores the possibility of measuring dietary diversity for women on a population level.

HarvestPlus and Bioversity International, October 2015

Some 2 billion people suffer from hidden hunger caused by infections and diets lacking in essential micronutrients, such as, vitamin A, iron, and zinc. This two page brief explores how biofortification of staple grains can increase dietary diversity.

Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, October 2015

Key messages in the 2015 State of Food Security report revolve around social protection, gender-sensitive programs, and national commitment. The report explores what social protection can offer people and its limitations in moving people out of poverty.

Agriculture for Impact, September 2015

This report discusses the growing evidence that micronutrient deficiencies may increase due to climate change. Donors and governments are called to fund climate-adaptation efforts for smallholder farmers and to allow local governments to allocate funds as needed.

International Food Policy Research Institute, October 2015

This blog introduces the special issue of the Journal of Development Studies) on “Farm-Level Pathways to Improved Nutritional Status,” which features 8 studies exploring the linkage between household agricultural production and nutrition. The studies range in data, methods, and topics, including: the role of biofortification in improving children's diets; findings of a positive association between crop diversity and dietary diversity; and the positive effects of livestock-ownership on animal-sourced food consumption.

Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit GmbH, October 2015

This video features the pathways through which agriculture can support good nutrition, indicators that can be used to measure agriculture’s impact on nutrition, and key recommendations for improving nutrition through agriculture and food systems.

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

Efforts to improve nutrition outcomes are impaired by fragmented evidence on which policies and interventions work best. The existing tools that are intended to measure the outcomes of agricultural and food policy interventions only capture some elements. This technical brief calls upon the research community and governments to jointly develop better ways to collect data.

Links to presentations, proceedings, and other meeting materials

Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, October 2015

The 42nd session of the Committee on Food Security in Rome explored a range of issues including nutrition in protracted crises, water access, and connecting smallholder farmers to markets. The final report from the conference includes meeting items, photos, and information from side events.

SPRING Project, October 2015

This SPRING webinar explored biofortification, with a focus on implementation and incorporating it into development projects. HarvestPlus experts explained their implementation process, dissemination, social and behavior change efforts, as well as myths surrounding biofortification.

The World Food Prize, October 2015

A 3 day course-themed conference, 'Borlaug 101: The Fundamentals of Global Food Security,' celebrated the 101 years after Dr. Norman E. Borlaug's birth. Presentations included the impact of aquaculture and marine fisheries on food production, nutrition and the environment, confronting malnutrition through biofortified crops, and the effect of Ebola on agriculture in afflicted countries.

Agrilinks, October 2015

Biofortification is among the highest value-for-money investments for economic development and reducing micronutrient deficiencies. In this webinar, Director of HarvestPlus Dr. Howarth Bouis, discussed the impact of biofortification on nutrition and smallholder farmer income and its cost-effectiveness compared to other nutrition interventions.