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Re: Making agriculture work for nutrition: Prioritizing country-level action, research and support

Dr. Lisa Kitinoja The Postharvest Education Foundation, United States of America

Dear Moderators,

I would like to submit some answers the questions posed, based upon my fieldwork in horticultural development in over 20 developing countries and 20 years.
Based on your own knowledge and experience in the area of improving nutrition through food and agriculture programmes:

1. If you were designing an agricultural investment programme, what are the top 5 things you would do to maximize its impact on nutrition?

       #1: I would make sure the programme paid attention to more than the production of food and increasing yields

       #2: The programme would include interventions aimed at reducing postharvest losses, protectin nutirional value and food safety during the period from farm to consumer.

       #3: The value chain actors involved in food distribution and storage would be key stakeholders in the programme

       #4: Consumers would be provided with training on food storage, processing and cooking with the aim of improving nutritional quality of the food supply

       #5: Capacity building efforts in food and nutrition for extension workers, educators and government staff would be included in the programme.
2. To support the design and implementation of this programme, where would you like to see more research done, and why?

Many countries "know" they experience high levels of food losses and waste, but there has been little systematic measurement of the causes and sources of these losses. the first step to improving nutition and access to high quality foods is to find out where, when and why foods are being lost, damaged, or losing nutitional value (for exmaple due to temperature abuse or pest attacks).
3. What can our institutions do to help country governments commit to action around your recommendations, and to help ensure implementation will be effective?

Assist with capacity building efforts, for example by offering short courses, study tours, workshops, etc on agriculture, food and nutrition development in each region of the world.

Dr. Lisa Kitinoja
The Postharvest Education Foundation
PO Box 38, La Pine, Oregon 97739 USA
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