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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

Gillespie, S., van den Bold, M., Menon, P., Nisbett, N. Global Food Security (June 2017). Vol. 13. 1-88.

To meet the growing demand from many countries for experiential learning about what works in Nutrition, Stories of Change sought to systematically assess and analyze drivers of change in six high-burden countries that have had some success in accelerating improvements in nutrition. This issue of Global Food Security comprises ten papers, ranging across different aspects of successful enabling environments in these countries.

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

Microlinks, April 2017

In this interview with Kristin O'Planick and Sally Abbott of USAID, learn how the Leveraging Economic Opportunities (LEO) and the Strengthening Partnerships, Results, and Innovations in Nutrition Globally (SPRING) activities coordinated to address making agricultural market development activities more nutrition-sensitive. The interviewees discuss their learning process on nutrition-sensitive agriculture and how they learned to appreciate each other’s view on the topic.

University of California - Davis, April 2017

To prevent storage of moldy crops, which are detrimental to farmers from both health and market perspectives, researchers at UC Davis invented a low-cost, easy-to-use tool that farmers can use to measure food dryness, called the DryCard. This innovative tool, which uses cobalt chloride paper with a color guide on a laminated piece of paper the size of a business card, tests dryness of crops and can easily let farmers know if their product is dry enough to be stored, leading to optimum consumption and sales potential. Organizations in Tanzania, Kenya, Zambia, Bangladesh and Guinea are currently testing the DryCard, with hopes of the tool becoming more widely available soon.

TOPS and the Food Security and Nutrition Network, May 2017

The Commodity Management (CM) Toolkit is an operational guide for anyone working on programs using food commodities. This toolkit, created by TOPS, is a set of interconnected flowcharts that provide a road map of the entire CM process - from project start-up through close-out - in simple steps. In addition to illustrating each activity required to promote compliance with USAID regulations - and the functional area(s) accountable - the toolkit provides instant access to 147 tools designed to help users implement these activities. The toolkit can be used both as a self-study training resource for new staff and as a quick reference for more experienced staff, and is available at the link below.

Agriculture, Nutrition, and Health Academy, May 2017

In its new technical brief, the ANH Academy’s Food Environments Working Group provides an overview of the nutrition field and proposes a conceptual framework in which the food environment acts as an important interface between the wider food system and people’s food acquisition and consumption through continuous and complex interactions between external and personal food environments. The brief concludes with a call for heightened emphasis on food environment research, in part for its strong potential to contribute to existing research at the nexus of sustainable development, food systems, food security, and agriculture, nutrition and health.

Food and Agriculture Organization, March 2017

This brief addresses a need in agricultural program design capacity by providing a list of food system-based intervention options that have great potential to improve nutrition. It also provides a set of concrete entry points for maximizing the impact of each of these interventions, including through the strengthening of an enabling environment. This tool is part of a broader package of guidance materials for program planners and policy makers.

Developing Local Extension Capacity (DLEC) Project, May 2017

The Developing Local Extension Capacity (DLEC) Project produced diagnostics of the extension systems in Bangladesh and Nigeria. These analyses take a critical and constructive approach to the existing systems, their successes, their gaps and how they have affected the agricultural outcomes and outputs within the respective countries. The studies also identify current and future challenges and opportunities to address them.

The Washington Post, May 2017

Farmers in both developed and developing countries continue to face barriers to growing optimally nutritious or sustainable crops. This article provides a primer to these barriers, and how they relate to agriculture systems, markets, and policy options. The overview also makes clear some of the links between nutrition and environmental sustainability in agriculture worldwide.

Links to presentations, proceedings, and other meeting materials

Leverhulme Centre for Integrative Research on Agriculture and Health (LCIRAH), May 2017

Because value chains play a key role in determining food availability, affordability, and quality, they have a role in shaping diets and can contribute to improving nutrition. This webinar presented a case study from the Zomba District of southern Malawi to examine opportunities for improved diets through leveraging demand and supply of nutritious foods, and enhancing value chain performance with a nutrition lens. Initial findings from the case study provide insight for shaping policy and programs.

Food Security and Nutrition Network, May 2017

During this seminar, Gitau Mbure, Senior Technical Advisor for Agriculture at World Vision, and Clare Sullivan, Deputy Agriculture and Food Security Center at Columbia University, shared findings from a recent assessment aimed at developing guidelines for improving the management of agriculture demonstration sites. The assessment included a review of prevailing practices across food security programs in Bangladesh, Niger, and Zimbabwe, as well as consultations with practitioners and stakeholders from over 30 organizations who are involved in implementing agriculture demonstration sites globally. A recording of the presentation is available at the following link.

ACDI/VOCA, May 2017

This ACDI/VOCA webinar focused on the influence of social and behavior change research in the market systems context, utilizing case studies to demonstrate its significance. One case study example examines fertilizer purchases by Kenyan farmers and demonstrates the effect of program interventions designed based on research surrounding this behavior. Keynote speakers Lucho Osorio and Lenette Golding emphasized how understanding a behavior and its motivators can inform market systems development and related programs—often predicting their success or failure. Parts 1 and 2 of the presentation, as well as the panel discussion, are available for viewing at the link below.