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

Samwel Mbugua Egerton University, Kenya, Kenya
Samwel Mbugua

In my opinion the top 5 things to do to maximize impacts on nutrition would be;

1. At the planning stage incorporate a multi-stakeholder approach in the stakeholders platform to include nutrition practitioners to take care of nutrition interests.

2. Undertake a nutrition causal analysis that best shows likely pathways to nutrition outcomes for a given agric. investment and incorporate that in the baseline assessment indicators.

3. Include practical innovation systems that are cognizant of the food culture of beneficiary communities, capacity to benefit at cottage industry and household level, and not merely investments for mainstream markets and industries.

4. Considering much of the communities in need of this benefits have evolved over time through through subsistence food systems there at times solely for consumption there is need to integrate indigenous knowledge systems in to modern methods so as help individuals connect easily in to modern systems, and balance between consumption and market driven agriculture.

5. Undertake an impact assessment that captures nutrition outcomes and not only production and incomes expected from agricultural investments.

More research is needed to come up with a set of tools and frameworks that are harmonized and widely acceptable to measure agric. and nutrition outcomes based so as to provide a basis for cross cultural, season and regions learning.

On the government side it is important that governments come up with food and nutrition policies, this is the legal basis upon which governments can be made to account, and also the basis for financial commitments. In areas where policies exist their is need to track progress and support any weak links so as to make them practical and of direct benefit to communities.