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Re: The contribution of the private sector and civil society to improve nutrition

Ms. Maria Antip Policy Analyst at International Fertilizer Industry Association (IFA), ...
10.09.2013
Maria

Dear all,

In order to improve access to suitable and sufficient nutrition worldwide, the private sector and civil society must work alongside governments and research institutes. All four can and should bring contributions to food and nutrition security.

To promote nutrition-sensitive agriculture, the International Fertilizer Industry Association (IFA) recently published a scientific review and a series of infographics on the role of agronomic biofortification to address malnutrition.  

Key messages about how macro and micro nutrient fertilization can enhance food systems by increasing:

  • Quality: adding fertilizers and micronutrients to soil can increase the content, composition and bioavailability of vitamins and nutrients.
  • Quantity: Deficiencies in nutrients reduce crop yields of 40-60%.
  • Diversity: Adding macro and micro nutrients through fertilization can positively impact crop texture, flavor and shelf life.
  • Safety: Fertilizers diminish human health risks; for example Selenium reduces incidence of heart disease.

Another aspect of improving nutrition lies with empowering smallholders worldwide to become commercial farmers. Investment constitutes a powerful instrument towards good nutrition. Investment-driven measures can target specific groups, such as smallholders and women, and facilitate their access to agricultural finance, training, capacity building, knowledge transfer and innovative practices. PPPs play an important role in advancing nutrition securities and policy should create an enabling environment for businesses.

The Farming First coalition and the fertilizer industry support the Zero Hunger Challenge, which advocates access to food all year round, eliminating stunted growth in children through improving the nutrient quality of food, sustainability across all food systems, increase in smallholder productivity and income and zero food waste or loss.

We believe that solutions will differ by region and by landscape to address the diversity of nutritional deficiencies, as well as the different benchmarks for balanced diets.

Further info and resources can be found my accessing the links below:

FA infographics: http://www.fertilizer.org/ifa/HomePage/SUSTAINABILITY/Nutrition

Fertilizing Crops to Improve Human Health: A Scientific Review:  http://www.fertilizer.org/ifacontent/download/90302/1324791/version/1/file/2012_ipni_ifa_fchh_final.pdf

Zero Hunger Challenge: http://www.un.org/en/zerohunger/challenge.shtml