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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

Fiorella, K., Chen, R., Milner, E., Fernald, L. Global Food Security (2016). Vol. 8. 39-47.

After reviewing 42 evaluations of agricultural interventions for improved maternal and child nutrition, the authors of this article identify three intervention typologies – enhancement, diversification, and substitution – that reflect the impacts of interventions on household livelihoods and patterns of food consumption. In applying the typologies to existing evaluations, the research summarizes the evidence base and emphasizes areas for further inquiry, particularly in terms of understanding these interventions amid complex environmental, political, and economic local contexts.

Olney, D., Bliznashka, L., Pedehombga, A., Dillon, A., Ruel, M., Heckert, J. Journal of Nutrition (2016). Vol. 146. No. 5. 224-261.

This article aims to increase the evidence base around the benefits of integrated agriculture and nutrition programs for children’s health and nutrition outcomes. It presents the results of Helen Keller International’s 2 year cluster randomized control trial of an enhanced-homestead food production program in Burkina Faso on the secondary impact measures of mother’s nutrition and empowerment. The program was found to substantially improve mothers’ nutrition and empowerment outcomes and t these positive outcomes may also improve their ability to care for their children.

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

Leveraging Agriculture for Nutrition in South Asia (LANSA), February 2016

This report examines the evolution of the policy debates on nutrition and agriculture from India’s Independence to the present in order to better understand the roots for the weak links between agriculture and nutrition in contemporary India. The analysis finds several shifts in the framing of undernutrition over the past half century, changing from being considered a health issue to a food shortage issue, to a poverty challenge, and most recently a food security issue. The framing of agriculture, on the other hand remained mostly consistent until the early 2000s, being viewed as a key driver of economic growth and the foundation of food security. During the last 10-15 years the awareness of the potential of agriculture for a balanced, diversified and nutritious diet gradually increased in the policy debates; however, deeply-rooted beliefs and perceptions about agriculture remain and may hinder the development of more nutrition-sensitive agricultural programs and policies.

Health Communication Capacity Collaborative (HC3), April 2016

Health Communication Capacity Collaborative’s SBCC Implementation Kit (I-Kit), includes a step by step approach to integrate gender into an existing SBCC strategy or marketing kit. It is designed to help users to better understand gender concepts, theories and frameworks and assess the current level of gender integration in a project. Users are provided with a series of tools to help them uncover new information that can be applied to an existing SBCC strategy or plan or can use the tools to develop a new plan.

INGENAES Project, April 2016

This facilitator’s guide has been prepared for public, private, and NGO extension providers to strengthen their capacity to address gender in a transformative manner and to integrate nutrition sensitivity in designing and facilitating workshops and trainings for men and women farmers. The guide is organized by a series of sessions that have been developed with a Training of Trainers (TOT) focus and includes all the necessary information (materials, objectives, estimates on time needed) to facilitate the workshop.

Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, 2016

Over the past several years, FAO has supported projects in Malawi and Cambodia to improve childhood nutrition through agriculture and nutrition education for complementary feeding. Many of these interventions involved pulses. The interventions’ approaches, including their work to empower communities to grow and purchase a variety of foods to diversify diets, and lessons are detailed in this blog post, along with a discussion of the potential of pulses to be used further in improving nutrition as a complementary feeding resource.

Global Panel on Agriculture and Food Systems for Nutrition, April 2016

This policy brief was launched by the Global Panel at its joint high-level meeting with the Partnership for Aflatoxin Control in Africa (PACA) on 12 April 2016 in Accra, Ghana. The brief takes a systems approach to reviewing food safety issues that are critical to poor and vulnerable populations in low- and middle-income countries. It argues that ensuring the safety of global food systems will require coordinated actions across policy, regulations, surveillance, and control measures to reduce the risk of foodborne illness.

World Bank Group, April 2016

The third in a series of reports focused on the future of food, this latest release from the World Bank focuses on how the food system can deliver improved nutrition and health for better lives and well-being. It presents a set of nutrition-sensitive interventions that countries can adopt, adapt, and apply to their circumstances. The three sections of the paper cover 1) why the global food system needs to concentrate more on delivering improved nutrition and health; 2) what types of food system interventions can deliver improved nutrition and health; and 3) how the agenda can best be implemented.

Links to presentations, proceedings, and other meeting materials

SPRING, April 2016

Despite inherent differences in program approaches and contexts, agricultural market development and nutrition activities must work together to address the immediate and underlying contributors to undernutrition. This webinar explored where the principles and practices of nutrition and agricultural market development activities are complementary and synergistic (areas of convergence), and where these are at odds. Ruth Campbell, Senior Vice President at ACDI/VOCA and Managing Director of USAID Leveraging Economic Opportunities (LEO) presented in this webinar, along with USAID respondents Sally Abbott, Nutrition Advisor at the Bureau for Food Security, and Kristin O'Planick, Market Systems & Enterprise Development Specialist of the Bureau for Economic Growth, Education and Environment (E3) Office of Trade and Regulatory Reform.

Agrilinks, April 2016

Sustainable management of wild fisheries, especially small-scale fisheries, is critical for achieving local food security and poverty reduction in many developing countries--but fish are often overlooked in international and national food security discussions and action plans, despite their nutritious content and wide trade. This seminar reviewed the evidence on the importance of wild fisheries, showed how management approaches can restore and enhance natural productivity and sustainability of coastal fisheries, and described increasing investments in this area by the private sector.

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

Agriculture‐Nutrition Community of Practice, April 2016

In the April call of the Ag2Nut Community of Practice, participants discussed the role of nutrition in the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Participants heard from Asma Lateef, Director of Bread for the World Institute and Jennifer Thompson of Concern Worldwide, as well as Edye Kuyper of UC Davis. They discussed the current place of nutrition in the SDGs, agriculture-nutrition opportunities, and the process and lessons learned by nutrition advocates during the SDG decision-making process.

FSN Forum, April 2016

Urbanization and the transformation of agriculture, food systems, and rural spaces present challenges and opportunities for inclusive growth, poverty eradication, economic, environmental and social sustainability, and food security and nutrition. As a result, there is an increasing focus on rural-urban linkages and approaches which can address these issues in a holistic and integrated manner. This online consultation invited contributions to a background document being prepared for the discussions at the Forum on Urbanization, Rural Transformation and Implications for Food Security in October 2016.