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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

Carletto, C., Corral, P., & Guelfi, A. Food Policy (November, 2016).

Using nationally representative data from three African countries, this analysis reveals little evidence of a relationship between nutritional status and the degree of agricultural commercialization of farm households. As countries and international agencies prioritize the importance of nutrition-sensitive agriculture, better understanding of the connection between crop choices and nutritional outcomes should remain a research priority.

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

SEEP Network, October 2016.

This series of technical briefs provides an overview of key issues related to women’s economic empowerment: unpaid care work; engaging and working with men; and, promoting women’s empowerment in post-production activities. Each brief discusses the current evidence base, and includes examples of good practices.

Institute of Development Studies, November 2016.

Mobile phone technology has the potential to initiate behavior change and facilitate the long-term maintenance of new behaviors. This paper reviews the existing m-agri and m-health interventions. The purpose of this review is to assist would-be implementers and evaluators to understand the landscape they are operating in so they can design nutrition and agriculture interventions that stand the greatest chance of working.

Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations.

This compendium has been designed to support officers responsible for designing nutrition-sensitive food and agriculture investments in selecting appropriate indicators to monitor how these investments are having an impact on nutrition (positive or negative). It provides an overview of indicators that can be relevant as part of a nutrition-sensitive approach, together with guidance to select indicators for a given project.

Center for Strategic and International Studies, November 2016.

Through a review of a Feed the Future livestock program, this report launch explores the complex pathways from household livestock ownership to nutritional gains in early childhood. A detailed analysis of a Feed the Future dairy program in Rwanda provides a concrete example of the design, management, and measurement challenges of tying nutritional goals to livestock interventions. The new report offers recommendations to improve the nutrition focus and impact of livestock programs.

Partnership for Aflatoxin Control in Africa, November 2016.

Aflatoxins constitute a ‘silent’ threat to food security. A substantial body of knowledge is available on the aflatoxin challenge affecting African farmers, other agri-entrepreneurs, and governments, but it is not being put into practice. This report states that multiple sectors need to act in unison with the research community, using available evidence to design multifaceted approaches.

Links to presentations, proceedings, and other meeting materials

TOPS Program and SPRING, October 2016.

This one-day learning event provided a forum where both nutrition and agriculture specialists could feed into discussions and share their ideas and experiences on nutrition-sensitive agricultural value chains. Participants’ takeaways included the need to advocate for more consistent inclusion of nutrition indicators, the need for more multi-sectoral programs, and for them to be integrated, and demand for the development community to continue iterating to find nutrition-sensitive approaches that work, and to subsequently share those findings broadly.

Agrilinks, November 2016.

This webinar explored how the Feed the Future Gender-Sensitive Climate-Smart Agriculture for Nutrition (G-CAN) initiative aims to support USAID on the new Global Food Security Strategy. Participants weighed in on the draft framework, shared insights on the intersection of the projects three focus themes based on their own experiences, and identified critical research gaps that are needed to support their own development.

Agrilinks, November 2016.

Extension professionals are fully committed to improving rural livelihoods and strengthening communities, but there is still a great need across the board to better integrate gender and nutrition into their services. Integrated development projects have become the norm, but the fact still remains that simple, evidence-based, ready-to-use materials are extremely difficult to access. In this Ag Sector Council event, the Integrating Gender and Nutrition within Agricultural Extension Services (INGENAES) project shared their approaches to addressing this challenge.

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

Agrilinks, October 2016.

Only highly contaminated nuts or kernels may show clear signs of aflatoxin contamination, making sorting a challenge. Now, scientists at the Peanut & Mycotoxin Innovation Lab are developing a portable, fluorescence spectral-based technology that might “see” what the human eye would otherwise miss.

The SPRING Project, November 2016.

In the November 2016 Ag2Nut Call, Matthias Jäger, Markets and Value Chain Expert, International Center for Tropical Agriculture (CIAT) / CGIAR, presented findings from a pilot project in Kenya and Uganda, aimed at improving the diets of vulnerable rural and urban consumers through increased consumption of more affordable, diverse, safe, and nutrient-dense processed bean-based food products, sourced from local farmer organizations and delivered by small and medium enterprises (SMEs). This project uses a value chain for nutrition (VCN) approach, an innovative strategy that addresses nutrition problems by identifying opportunities where chain actors benefit from the marketing of agricultural products with higher nutritional value, focusing on those value chains that are most relevant to the poor, specifically women of reproductive age and children.