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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

de Valenca, A., Bake, A., Brouwer, I., & Giller, K. Global Food Security (March, 2017).

Micronutrient deficiencies are prevalent in crops and people in sub-Saharan Africa. Agronomic biofortification can increase yields and micronutrient contents of these crops, but there is a lack of direct evidence on the effectiveness to improve human health. This paper examines implementation of biofortification, which is hampered by limited information and access to inputs.

Jones, A. Journal of Nutrition (January, 2017)

Crop species richness (CSR) may be important for maintaining the diversity of diets of smallholder farming households. This study defines CSR and determines its association with the diversity and quality of household diets in Malawi, as well as opportunities to bring it to market.

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

USAID released another technical brief in its series to provide guidance in implementing the Agency’s Multi-sectoral Nutrition Strategy. This brief presents five key strategies for agriculture activities— primarily designed to increase income— to also enhance their contribution to nutrition. The points outlined in the brief support farming households to have the knowledge, resources and an enabling environment that promotes using income to increase the production, purchase and consumption of nutrient-rich foods and to improve access to caregiving resources and health care.

Food Security and Nutrition Network, December 2017

How can extension build on its "core competencies" in improving household food security to lay the foundation for better nutrition? This discussion paper explores the conceptual linkages between agricultural extension, gender equity, and nutrition; it provides concrete examples of planning and implementing nutrition-sensitive, gender-responsive agricultural extension; and it supports building and leveraging cross-sectoral collaboration. The paper outlines ways in which agricultural extension can support nutritious food systems without becoming overburdened.

International Livestock Research Institute, December 2016

Approaches that improve women’s engagement in livestock value chains and their impact on women’s empowerment and maternal and child nutrition (MCN) can be powerful in improving women’s and children’s nutrition. This study explores how empowerment of women through livestock interventions can enhance MCN.

allAfrica, December 2016

Liberia continues to face high levels of malnutrition, especially stunting among children under five. Stunting is partly due to the lack of information about growing and consuming nutritious food. Liberia's agriculture sector has the potential to meet some of its nutrition-related related challenges through production and employment. This article reports on a workshop that sensitized national stakeholders to the need to integrate nutrition-sensitive agriculture into the country's agriculture investment plans.

Scaling Up Nutrition Movement, December 2016

The Compendium of Actions for Nutrition (CAN) was developed in consultation with United Nations partner agencies and is a key contribution towards achieving the objectives of the UN Network for SUN Strategy (2016-2020) and the overall SUN Movement Strategy and Roadmap (2016-2020). The CAN includes matrices of potential multi-sectoral nutrition actions (both nutrition-specific and nutrition-sensitive actions), classified by the related evidence. These evidence categories include synthesized evidence, primary studies, and practice-based studies.

FANTA Project, November 2016

The agriculture sector has a significant role to play in improving the nutritional status of women and children. Strengthening the link between agriculture and nutrition is critical to improve availability of, and access to, nutrient-dense local foods to improve dietary diversity and reduce nutrient gaps among pregnant and lactating women and children 6–23 months of age. This brief provides recommendations for the agriculture sector based on a recent study on the feasibility of using local foods to meet nutrient needs in the Western Highlands of Guatemala.

People in Need, January 2017

The overwhelming majority of agricultural programs are unable to prove their impact on reducing undernutrition—while they can increase crop yields, they often have not been able to provide evidence of their contribution to improving people’s diets and nutritional status. So does agriculture improve nutrition? This factsheet looks past basic assumptions to examine ways in which agriculture affects nutritional status.

ENGINE Project, March 2017

The Empowering the New Generation to Improve Nutrition and Economic opportunities (ENGINE) project was USAID/Ethiopia’s flagship multisector nutrition project. ENGINE partnered with Ethiopian ministries to strengthen existing multisector coordination and support the development and revision of nutrition policies, guidelines, and standards. These briefs detail ENGINE’s approaches across multiple sectors.

Links to presentations, proceedings, and other meeting materials

Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, December 2016

After the Second International Conference on Nutrition (ICN2) that was co-organized by FAO and WHO, in Rome, in November 2014, participants adopted a Framework for Action for future commitments to eradicate hunger worldwide. At this symposium, participants continued dialogue, focusing on food systems—specifically the subthemes of supply side policies and measures for increasing access to healthy diets, demand side policies and measures for increasing access and empowering consumers to choose healthy diets, and measures to strengthen accountability, resilience, and equity within the food system.

International Food Policy Research Institute, December 2016

Within food systems, businesses have to be incentivized towards supplying more safe and nutritious food at affordable prices. Simultaneously, consumers need more incentives to make better diet choices to drive those changes. How do non-business and business actors engage more productively within the mixed economy food system to form healthy rather than toxic alliances in the fight against malnutrition? This lecture addresses questions of how business interests can be involved in the movement against malnutrition.

The December 2016 Climate-Smart Agriculture Global Learning and Evidence Exchange (CSA-GLEE) was held in Siem Reap, Cambodia. The USAID Bureau for Food Security, in collaboration with the USAID/Cambodia Mission convened this meeting to deepen collaboration efforts and action on climate-smart agriculture. This event page includes resources, presentations, and more.

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

What are the key food safety issues related to livestock production, animal source foods and what are their potential impacts on human health and nutrition? In this webinar, experts shared effective approaches to improving food safety and quality related to livestock production. Attendees heard about improving food safety and quality throughout the livestock value chain including production methods, processing and storage technologies, risk assessments, policy impacts, opportunities for the private sector and consumer education.