There is now considerable interest among international development organizations and practitioners in agriculture programming and policy to improve nutrition.
A recent “Synthesis of Guiding Principles on Agriculture Programming for Nutrition” has highlighted the increasing number of international development institutions formally weighing in on the topic – and found that the key messages are often similar. The synthesis identifies 20 principles independently voiced by multiple institutions for planning, implementing, and supporting nutrition-sensitive agriculture, as well as a number of gaps that limit action on these principles.
Building on the earlier FSN forum debate “Linking Agriculture, Food Systems, and Nutrition: What’s your perspective?” and the synthesis, the objective of this discussion is to distill and prioritize actions needed at country-level, research gaps, and support needed out of the substantial international dialogue on improving nutrition through food and agriculture.
What are the main approaches we collectively see as most important? What are some practical recommendations that can more effectively promote, support, and guarantee the integration of nutrition into agriculture and food security investments? What research is needed?
This discussion is timed strategically before several influential meetings involving agriculture-nutrition linkages and your contributions will be made available at and incorporated into upcoming nutrition and agriculture-related meetings, such as the SUN, CFS (Committee on World Food Security), GCARD (Global Conference on Agricultural Research for Development), and CAADP Nutrition Workshop (Comprehensive Africa Agriculture Development Programme). Participation in this discussion will allow your voice to be heard at these agenda-setting events.
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?
2. To support the design and implementation of this programme, where would you like to see more research done, and why?
3. What can our institutions do to help country governments commit to action around your recommendations, and to help ensure implementation will be effective?
As you answer each of these questions, please share practical insights, evidence, and anecdotes from your personal experience researching, implementing, or advocating.
We thank you in advance for the time and thought you contribute to responding – time well-spent, we believe, for the influence your comments will have.
Anna Herforth (consultant to World Bank and FAO)
Cristina Lopriore (member of the EU Nutrition Advisory Services, facilitating in her own personal capacity)