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 > Food > Food-based approach
  • A farmer spreading rice out to dry on a tarp outside his home©FAO/Olivier Asselin
  • Locals walking through vegetable fields in the Kisale neighborhood of Lubumbashi©FAO/Olivier Asselin
  • Red chilli peppers for sale at the Luwowoshi Market©FAO/Olivier Asselin

Food-based approaches

Food-based approaches improve nutrition through increasing the availability, access to and consumption of a nutritionally adequate diet from a variety of foods. This approach, developed within a right to food framework, builds on the primary importance of the food and agriculture sector for improving diets, alleviating household food insecurity and raising levels of nutrition.

Food production matters

Agriculture is the main source of food, employment and income for the majority of the poor. Without growth in other sectors, agriculture is the primary sector for achieving improvements in food and nutrition security. Food-based approaches stress the importance of making food and agricultural policies more nutritionally relevant and more

Consumption and dietary diversification

Attention needs to be given to increasing the production of foods and to its consumption, ensuring that the poor have access to foods adequate in quantity (in terms of calories) and adequate in quality (in terms of variety, diversity, nutrient content and safety) in order to achieve a nutritionally balanced more


Fortification of foods is the addition of micronutrients to foods at a level higher than that found in the original food. Building on the impressive results of the reduction of iodine deficiency disorders (IDD) through the fortification of table salt with iodine, industrial fortification of foods can be used to reach a large number of people. more