Sharing Approaches for Achieving Improved Nutrition through Agriculture


Wednesday, 20 November, 2013


Presenter:  Sarah Titus, Food Security and Nutrition Manager, Strengthening Partnerships, Results and Innovations in Nutrition Globally (SPRING)

While there is growing consensus (Lancet Material and Child Nutrition Series, 2013) that integrated programming is needed to achieve global nutrition goals, empirical evidence on how agriculture interventions impact nutrition is scant.  However, many stakeholders have been developing or adapting frameworks to guide thinking that may help to better define areas for future research.  Among these, FAO's Guiding Principles for Improving Nutrition through Agriculture, and work by Gillespie et al to define Pathways from Agriculture to Nutrition provide a coherent framework for analysis but are too generic to provide the details needed for good sectorally-integrated or co-located project design and implementation.   

In this session the SPRING Project shared these two conceptual frameworks and how they have been used to guide a landscape analysis of Feed the Future investments in nutrition. Following a brief presentation and question and answer session, participants had an opportunity to feed into efforts that are underway to operationalize these frameworks.  Drawing on experience in their own programs, participants worked in small groups to identify and discuss the interim steps along the pathways between agriculture and nutrition in their own programs. Participants then had an opportunity to discuss better practices and approaches for improving nutrition outputs and outcomes from agriculture activities along these pathways.

Participants learned that although we used to think that increased caloric intake and increased income meant greater food security, this link was found to be false. Now programs are looking closer at nutritionally dense food. 

Questions and discussions centered on how to change national policies and systems, how we can orient the discussion for the empowerment of women, and how to turn an increase in consumption into an improvement in nutritional impact.