From Nutrition plus to Nutrition Driven: How to Realize the Elusive Potential of Agriculture for Nutrition?

Institute of Development Studies, Brighton BN1 9RE, UK.
Food and nutrition bulletin (Impact Factor: 1.15). 03/2013; 34(1):39-44. DOI: 10.1177/156482651303400105
Source: PubMed


Agriculture has the potential to have a bigger impact on nutrition status than it currently does. The pathways between agriculture and nutrition are well known. Yet the evidence on how to increase the impact of agriculture on nutrition is weak.
To outline some of the possible reasons for the weak evidentiary link between agriculture and income and to highlight some approaches to incentivizing agriculture to give nutrition a greater priority.
A review of literature reviews and other studies.
Agriculture does not have a strong poverty and nutrition impact culture, the statistical links between aggregate agriculture and nutrition data are weak, literature reviews to date have not been sufficiently clear on the quality of evidence admitted, and the evidence for the impact of biofortification on nutrition status is positive, but small. Some tools are proposed and described that may be helpful in raising the profile of nutrition outcomes, building nutrition outcomes into impact assessments of agriculture, measuring the commitment to undernutrition reduction, and helping to prioritize nutrition-relevant actions within agriculture. Leadership in agriculture and nutrition is also an understudied issue.
Agriculture has a vast potential to increase its impact on nutrition outcomes. We don't know if this potential is being fully realized as yet. I suspect it is not. Tools that help promote the visibility of nutrition within agriculture and the accountability of agriculture toward nutrition can possibly contribute to moving "from Nutrition Plus to Nutrition Driven" agriculture.

Full-text preview

Available from:
  • Source
    • "Many factors contribute to nutritional outcomes, among them agricultural performance. In a recent review, Haddad (2013) highlights several key pathways that link improvements in agriculture to improvements in nutrition. These include higher incomes, lower food prices, more nutritious on-farm production and consumption, and synergies between agriculture and nutrition arising from women's empowerment. "
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: This article investigates empirical connections between agriculture and child nutrition in Nepal. We augment the standard approach to explaining child nutrition outcomes by including information about household level agricultural production characteristics, including indicators of agricultural diversity. Data from the 2010/2011 Nepal Living Standards Survey (NLSS) are used in a series of regression models to explain stunting outcomes and variation in height-for-age Z-scores among 1,769 children 0–59 months of age. Results highlight the relative importance of overall agricultural yields, specific crop groups, and the consumption of own-production as factors correlated with long-term nutrition among children of different age groups. We find a small positive association between the degree of commercial market-orientation of households and child HAZ, but only among children under 24 months of age.
    Full-text · Article · Aug 2015 · Journal of Development Studies
  • Source
    • "Thus, there is a need for improved policy interventions to address nutrition. For instance , existing reviews of food related interventions to improve nutrition in low-and middle-income countries (LMIC) (Berti et al. 2004; Carmen Casanovas et al. 2013; Girard et al. 2012; Masset et al. 2012; Ruel and Alderman 2013; Weinberger 2013) reveal a focus on farm-level interventions for producer-consumers, while evidence for the effect of policy interventions that focus on the market pathway as a means to impact nutrition is comparatively limited (Dangour et al. 2013a; Haddad 2013; Pinstrup-Andersen 2013; Turner et al. 2013; Webb and Kennedy 2014). Yet while many frameworks have been developed for describing or understanding relationships between agriculture and nutrition, they have often been oriented towards project design and implementation, or focus on sub-sections of the food system without adequate attention to bigger-picture linkages which are frequently needed for consideration by policymakers. "
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Agriculture and food systems are important determinants of nutrition and consequent public health. However, an understanding of the links among agriculture, food systems, nutrition, public health and the associated policy levers, is relatively under-developed. A framework conceptualizing these key relationships, relevant to a range of country contexts, would help inform policymakers as to how agriculture and food policy could improve nutrition and public health, particularly in low- and middle-income countries (LMIC). The objectives of this paper are: to present a conceptual framework, relevant to a range of country contexts and focused on the policymaker as the user, which depicts the key relationships among agriculture, the food system, nutrition and public health; and to describe how the framework can be used for understanding the impacts of agriculture and food system policies on nutrition outcomes. Existing conceptual frameworks, highlighting the relationships among agriculture, the food system, nutrition and public health (n = 37) were identified, reviewed and categorized, based on the key themes they address. Building on this analysis and synthesis a conceptual framework was developed that assists in identifying associated policy levers and their effects on elements of the framework. The end product is a conceptual framework that presents key domains linking agriculture and food systems to nutritional outcomes and public health. The framework is relevant to a range of contexts, for example low-, middle- and high-income settings; and to policymakers wishing to examine the potential direct and indirect impacts of agriculture and food system policies.
    Full-text · Article · May 2015 · Food Security
  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: More than 50% of children in Nepal are malnourished. Economic growth and poverty reduction are not always sufficient to improve the health and nutritional status of children. Heifer Nepal uses livestock training as a tool for community development and poverty alleviation but does not directly address child health and nutrition. To systematically assess the effects of Heifer activities on child health and nutrition. The study was a 2-year, longitudinal, randomized, controlled trial in six communities in Nepal (both Terai and hills), pair-matched for specific characteristics, randomly assigned to receive Heifer community development activities at baseline (intervention) or 1 year (control). At 6-month intervals over a period of 2 years, child anthropometric and comprehensive household surveys were performed. Four hundred fifteen households were enrolled containing 607 children 6 months to 5 years of age. The intervention and control communities were equivalent for baseline socioeconomic status, household size, ownership of land and animals, and child nutrition and health. At 12 months (prior to animal donations), the Terai intervention group had improved child weight (p = .04), improved child height (p = .05), and reduced sick days (p = .03), as well as increased household income (p = .004), increased ownership of animals (p = .04) and land (p = .04), and improved sanitation practices (p < .01). In all districts, longer participation in Heifer activities corresponded to more improvement in child height-for-age z-scores. Heifer interventions resulted in improved socioeconomic status and household income per family member. Children under 60 months of age in the intervention group had greater incremental improvement in height-for-age and weight-for-age z-scores than children in the control group, and longer participation in Heifer activities was associated with better growth. Poverty alleviation programs, such as Heifer, may indirectly benefit child growth.
    No preview · Article · Sep 2014 · European Journal of Marketing
Show more