SE022 Nutrition Smart Agriculture: contributing to nutrition outcomes via smart investments in farms and agribusinesses. Interventions to increase profits and improve nutrition for better food systems


  • World Bank Group
  • Global Alliance for Imrpoved Nutrition (GAIN)
  • FAO
  • IFAD
  • Inter-American Institute for Cooperation on Agriculture (IICA)
  • International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI)
  • International Center for Tropical Agriculture (CIAT)/ Bioversity
  • Democratic Republic of Congo
  • Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA)

The pathways through which agriculture and food systems can affect nutrition are collectively known as nutrition sensitive. Nutrition-smart investments in agriculture have the double objective of contributing to the improvement of human nutritional status while achieving the farm and/or agribusiness-level objective of increasing profitability - the driver for business investment. Although there are existing agriculture technologies and practices, such as biofortification, that can be considered "nutrition smart", these are not the only ones, and many are not recognized as "smart", and thus not necessarily supported by existing agriculture public policies and programs. Therefore, identifying nutrition smart agriculture interventions could be the way to attract the attention of public sector, in particular Ministries of Agriculture, towards the importance of the sector's contribution to the nutrition agenda. It would provide a clear menu of opportunities to crowd in the farming and agribusiness sectors to support food system policy and program reforms that have a positive impact on nutrition outcomes. These are no-regret-type of interventions that Ministries of Agriculture could do regardless of multisectoral coordination. These supply-side only interventions could complement the nutrition sensitive agenda, where multisectoriality and interinstitutional coordination have been seen as a barrier to integrating nutrition into the agriculture development agenda of countries.

The side event will discuss the:

  • importance of balancing multisectoriality vs. sectoral approaches in integrating nutrition into agriculture development interventions
  • need to communicate the opportunity for agribusiness and nutrition objectives to converge
  • experience with existing efforts to foster this alignment between the double objective (e.g. donor-funded initiatives encouraging the supply of nutrient-dense foods that have emerged, such as GAIN's Marketplace for Nutritious Foods; or companies' adoption of hybrid and social business models to develop future market opportunities)
  • potential of nutrition smart agriculture to guide farmer and agribusiness decisions to make available a diversified, safe, affordable, nutrient-rich foods.

The event will also showcase a preliminary version of the nutrition smart agriculture country profile that aims to provide a developing snapshot of country-specific agricultural and nutritional challenges, while advancing recommendations on entry points for investment and what type of nutrition smart agriculture interventions could be developed.


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