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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

Kabunga, N.S., Ghosh, S., Webb, P. PLOS ONE. (November 2017) Vol. 12, No. 11, pp. 1-17.

This study examines whether adoption of improved dairy cow breeds is linked to farm-level outcomes that translate into household-level benefits, including improved child nutrition outcomes in Uganda. Although undernutrition was widely prevalent in the study sample and in matched households, the adoption of improved dairy cows was associated with lower child stunting in adopter household. Results also showed that holding larger farms tends to support adoption, but that this also stimulates the household’s ability to achieve gains from adoption, which can translate into enhanced nutrition.

Doocy, S., Cohen, S., Emerson, J., Menakuntuala, J., Rocha, J.S ., the Jenga Jamaa II Study Team. Global Health: Science and Practice (December 2017) Vol. 5 No. 4, pp. 630-643.

This article details an analysis of the Jenga Jamaa II project, which aimed to improve household food security and child nutritional status in Eastern Democratic Republic of the Congo using various intervention strategies, including farmer field school (FFS) programs. Although FFS participants diversified their agricultural production strategies and experienced improvements in household food security, there was not a positive impact on child nutritional status. In this food-insecure context, improvements in agricultural production alone are unlikely to significantly change child nutritional status—a health outcome with a complex, multilevel causal chain.

Kissoly, L., Faße, A. & Grote, U. Food Security. (December 2017) Vol. 9 No. 6, pp. 1219-1235.

Using primary household data from Kilosa and Chamwino districts in rural Tanzania, the researchers examined the nature and extent of smallholder participation in traditional agricultural value chain (AVC) activities and their associated welfare effects, focusing primarily on household food security. Findings highlight the importance of promoting policies that enable effective vertical and horizontal integration of smallholder farmers into traditional AVC activities for enhanced food security and improved livelihoods.

Bert, P., Cossio, H.A. Food Security. (December 2017) Vol. 9 No. 6, pp. 1329–1341.

In highland Bolivia, a three-year nutrition-sensitive agricultural intervention was carried out with rural families in which chicken rearing was promoted in order to increase egg consumption. This article reports on the impact of the intervention on participants’ diets. The study found that despite the increased consumption of eggs, intake of most nutrients did not change, and further increased consumption of eggs per day would be required to produce observable average increases in nutrient intake.

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

IFPRI, January, 2018.

Using household consumption expenditure datasets that extend from 1995 to 2011, this report assesses animal source food (ASF) consumption patterns and changes over time in Ethiopia. The study reveals a number of stylized facts, including insights on the effects of prices and incomes on consumption of animal source foods. The findings suggest overall that keeping prices low and stimulating further income increases are important factors to increase ASF consumption in Ethiopia. The study further makes projections for growing consumption of ASF and its effects on markets.

Agrilinks, December, 2017.

This course, designed for USAID staff implementing Feed the Future country-level activities, underscores the Agency's focus on food security development and incorporates the Agency’s vision for food security, agriculture development, and improved resilience under the Global Food Security Strategy. Participants will address challenges through building a common understanding of the Agency’s priorities, challenges, and key issues in agriculture and food security. The course promotes state-of-the-art thinking that can be applied to new and existing strategies which will assist learners in designing interventions that achieve greater and more targeted results.

Global Panel on Agriculture and Food Systems for Nutrition, December, 2017.

The Global Panel’s latest policy brief calls policymakers at all levels to recognize the central role of high-quality diets and nutrition in achieving the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. The brief provides four key facts that reinforce the importance of healthy, high-quality diets, and stresses that achieving high-quality diets for all requires concerted action across several sectors. The Global Panel recommends six priorities for policymakers to accelerate progress across the SDGs.

Malabo Montpellier Panel, December, 2017.

The ambitions contained in the Malabo Declaration, the African Union’s Agenda 2063, and global development goals recognize the size and complexity of the nutrition challenges ahead. The seven-country study detailed in this report takes a systematic country approach to identify where progress in nutrition has been achieved, analyzing which policy decisions were taken to substantially reduce malnutrition levels and to promote healthier and more diverse diets. The report draws lessons for other countries to replicate such successes and identifies policies and practices for scale-up that could have significant impact on nutrition, child survival, and development in Africa.

IFPRI, December, 2017.

IFPRI’s peer-reviewed book examines India’s pulses sector in light of agricultural systems, climate change, irrigation design, and how policies (including the Green Revolution) have evolved over time. To understand how pulses can help fulfill the objectives of India’s food policies, experts explore the role that pulse production plays in global trade; the changing demand for pulses in India since the 1960s; the possibility of improving pulse yields with better technology to compete with cereals; and the long-term health benefits of greater reliance on pulses. The analyses provided contribute to the emerging literature on pulses and will aid policymakers in finding ways to feed and nourish a growing population.

Global Network for the Right to Food and Nutrition, December, 2017.

This 10th-anniversary issue of the Right to Food and Nutrition Watch takes stock of the past decade and looks forward at the challenges and opportunities anticipated for the coming period. It aims to contribute to the struggle for the realization of the right to food and nutrition and food sovereignty, and to finding the way out of this multifold ongoing crisis.

Links to presentations, proceedings, and other meeting materials

Ag2Nut, November, 2017.

The Ag2Nut Community of Practice works to increase availability of nutritious food for all. Food loss and waste is a major drain on the availability of nutritious food worldwide, particularly because it affects perishable, nutrient-dense foods the most. Curbing food loss and waste is a necessary part of improved agriculture and nutrition linkages. This Ag2Nut call discussed issues, solutions, and resources related to food loss and waste. Slides and a recording from the call are available at the link below.

SPRING, January, 2018.

To gain a better understanding of how agriculture interventions can contribute to improved nutrition, SPRING partnered with USAID and nongovernmental organizations operating in Zambia to learn from three agriculture and food security activities implementing nutrition-sensitive interventions: Mawa, led by Catholic Relief Services; Realigning Agriculture to Improve Nutrition (RAIN/RAIN+), led by Concern Worldwide; Feed the Future Production, Finance, and Improved Technology Plus (PROFIT+), led by ACDI/VOCA. This webinar discussed findings and recommendations and what they mean for future programming in Zambia and nutrition-sensitive agriculture programs worldwide.

FAO, December, 2017.

Part of a regional series on sustainable food systems and diets, FAO’s Europe and Central Asia-focused symposium took place in Budapest from December 4-5, 2017. The symposium objectives were to engage into the process launched by ICN2, the UN Decade of Action on Nutrition, and the FAO/WHO International Symposium on Food Systems for Healthy Diets and Improved Nutrition; and leverage the potential of food systems for healthy diets and improved nutrition in a multi-sectoral collaborative and coherent manner. Thematic areas included nutrition-sensitive agriculture and food systems, food demand and food environment, improving nutrition of vulnerable groups, and government accountability. Resources from the event are available at the link below.

HLPE, HarvestPlus, IFPRI, and A4NH, January, 2018.

Malnutrition in all its forms -- undernutrition, micronutrient deficiencies, overweight, and obesity – now affects all countries. The latest High Level Panel report analyzes how food systems influence people’s food choices and nutritional status. At this event, the lead author presented key findings, and commentators reflected on elements of the report.

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

Agrilinks, January, 2018.

When pursuing improved nutrition in agriculture projects, do you give up economic growth objectives, or can you tackle both at the same time? In this blog, SPRING agriculture advisor Victor Pinga discusses integrating nutrition in agricultural project design, drawing on SPRING’s recent work in Zambia evaluating three development activities.

CGIAR, January, 2018.

When deciding how to design or whether to fund a nutrition-sensitive agricultural intervention, we need to know the potential scope of impact. How many people will we reach? This blog describes the authors’ approach to indirectly estimating the quantity of pregnant farmers in Bangladesh in a particular time setting, and details possibilities for expanding their approach to estimate the number of people that a given intervention would reach.

FAO, November, 2017.

FAO Director-General José Graziano da Silva recently gave a keynote speech at the Chatham House think tank, which pointed to FAO's recent report, The Future of Food and Agriculture: Trends and Challenges. The report identifies 15 major trends and 10 challenges that policymakers must be prepared to tackle in the coming years. Da Silva’s speech emphasizes the increasing importance of the role of the consumer, especially as forms of malnutrition such as obesity are rapidly growing.

Devex, December, 2017.

This blog highlights Cambodia’s fish production industry to explore the role of fish alongside agriculture to create healthier diets. Fish is a key staple in the local Cambodian diet, and in the average household, around two-thirds of protein comes from fish. Yet, malnutrition and micronutrient deficiencies have remained stubbornly persistent — particularly among children. Solving that contradiction could be the key to improving nutrition across the globe.

IFPRI, December, 2017 .

This blog captures findings of a study that assessed how the strategies and interventions of the UN Joint Programme on accelerating progress towards the economic empowerment of rural women in Ethiopia (UNJP RWEE) Program have contributed to the empowerment of rural women in the Adami Tulu and Yaya Gulele districts of Ethiopia. The UNJP RWEE Program accelerates economic empowerment by enhancing women’s access to both financial and non-financial services. The authors share some of the program’s conclusions about economic empowerment for women and households.