Kudos to everyone who comment so far, there has been a torrent of solutions. This has made it especially difficult to generate novel ideas. Nevertheless we chose to look at this problem from a different facet of the diamond; therefore we have decided to look at the problem through the eyes of the consumers.
If you were designing an agricultural investment programme, what are the top 5 things you would do to maximize its impact on nutrition?
1. Assessing the needs of the population.
Every population is unique in its own entirety, some are large some small, some are aging while others are young. Therefore the first things we would do when implementing a nutritional programme is to assess the age of the population in question, from that proper nutritional needs of the population can be address since different age group requires different level of nutrition. we also need to address the consumption patterns of the population what are we consuming too much of and what are we consuming too little of, even if the data for consumption in a particular country or region is limited it is safe to assume what is being produce in abundance in a particular region that is what is being consume. This situation is most prevalent in the developing or poor countries like Guyana.
2. Sensitizing household food preparation
Food preparation is unique amount people of different cultural or traditional background for example in Guyana the same dish is prepared differently amount different ethnic group. Some of these traditional methods of preparation are unknowingly diminishing the nutritional content of the dish being prepared. For example in Guyana the overcooking and undercooking of food is prevalent in households. This is one of the major reasons why we would sensitize the population on preparation of proper household cooking methods.
3. Informing the public about the benefits of healthy eating
We have to ask ourselves why is eating healthy eating important.
Even though the ideology that healthy eating is good for us is widely known, little or no thought is put into the benefits or how detrimental our consumption habits could be on our body especially in the long run. Therefore we recommend that fundamental ideas be put forward like eating for tomorrow and not just for today promoting a longer life span.
4. Decentralization of the supply channel of perishable produce.
The supply of nutritional produce is not one of question, because if we don’t produce how can we eat healthy to get nutrient. But getting the produce to those who need it can be limited by distance and other environmental factors. So therefore we would decentralize our distribution channel of perishable produce especially in remote areas, rather than having the product produce at one central location. This would reduce the risks of nutritional values being loss during transportation; in addition to that the accessibility of the produce will be increase since it is being provided at a closer location. This could also aid in the problem of over and under consumption of vitamins dues to availability of produce that contains the necessary vitamins. For example in Guyana rural citizens normally consume what is available because of the limited availability of different agricultural produce which is mostly available in the main town.
Packaging is very important to the supply chain, not only to hold the produce but to preserve the shelf life and retain the nutritional content of what is being package. In addition to that we would place the nutritional content of the produce on the package. This would inform consumers of what they are consuming, the exact nutritional content of the produce. In addition to that this method we would like to capture the busier portion of the population, those who don’t have the time to cook a nutritional household meal. We would create a product that is rich in the basic nutrition needed for daily consumption like the Gerber single for adults; package in a comfortable an attractive manner. Taken into to account the main focus is to provide our population with nutrition and not profit, the best interest would be as such avoiding the mistakes made by Gerber adult single since they produce in an operational efficient manner for them not for the market “Harvard business review why big companies can innovate”.
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Related links and resources:
Synthesis of Guiding Principles on Agriculture Programming for Nutrition
FSN forum debate “Linking Agriculture, Food Systems, and Nutrition: What’s your perspective?”
FAO Nutrition and Consumer Protection Division