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In the context of Agenda 2030, food security, nutrition and sustainable agriculture are essential not only for achieving Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 2, but also for the broad set of SDGs.

A healthy diet is key to preventing malnutrition in all its forms. However, diverse nutritious foods are not always available and affordable for all, especially in low income settings. Furthermore, rapid urbanization and changing lifestyles have led to a shift in dietary patterns, partly due to changes in the food systems and its effects on the availability, affordability and desirability of healthy, as well as less healthy foods.

Improving nutritional outcomes requires consideration not only of the way food is produced, but also how it is processed, distributed, marketed and consumed, a process that is usually referred to as 'value chain'.

Value chains are one of the core elements of a food system. In addition to including all food value chains required to feed a population, food systems include – among other elements –a diverse set of drivers (e.g. political, economic, socio-cultural and environmental drivers) that affect all VC actors, including consumers. Nutrition-sensitive approaches to value chain (VC) development have emerged as a promising way to shape food systems for improved food security and nutrition outcomes.

Building on our existing understanding of how food systems influence dietary patterns and nutrition, this consultation seeks a more in-depth exploration of the role of value chains, as a useful framework to unpack the complexity of food systems.

Nutrition-sensitive value chain (NSVC) - A food value chain consists of all the stakeholders who participate in the coordinated production and value-adding activities that are needed to make food products (FAO, 2014)[1]. Though the traditional focus has been on economic value, nutrition-sensitive value chains leverage opportunities to enhance supply and/or demand for nutritious food, as well as opportunities to add nutritional value (and/or minimize food and nutrient loss) at each step of the chain, thereby improving the availability, affordability, quality and acceptability of nutritious food. For lasting impacts on nutrition, this approach must be placed in a sustainability context as well.

The Rome-based Agencies (RBAs)—including FAO, IFAD and WFP, along with Bioversity International and IFPRI—have identified nutrition-sensitive value chains (NSVC) as a key area where their collaboration can be strengthened, along with that of governments, private sector, civil society and academia, to enhance progress towards ending malnutrition in all its forms. In this context, an RBA Working Group was set up on the topic. Drawing on existing VC for nutrition approaches[2], the RBA WG has developed a joint nutrition-sensitive value chain (NSVC) framework, which was the object of a Discussion Paper (www.fao.org/3/a-mr587e.pdf) presented at a Special Event during the Committee on World Food Security Plenary Meeting in October 2016.

The NSVC framework is a practical approach to navigate the complexity of food systems and identify investment and policy opportunities to ensure that food value chains contribute to improved food security and nutrition. Opportunities to enhance nutrition outcomes arise at all stages of the value chain, from production to consumption. Adopting a NSVC approach allows for analyzing the roles and incentives of different actors along the chain, and to consider what may be the impact on cross cutting issues such as gender and climate change, as well as what policy and regulatory environment is conducive for VC to contribute to nutrition.

Although VC development holds great potential to contribute to nutrition, there are also a number of tensions and trade-offs that arise when combining the objectives of developing economically viable value chains, and improving food and nutrition security. Identifying and addressing these challenges while searching for opportunities for convergence and multi-stakeholder partnerships are an integral part of the NSVC framework.

Objectives of the consultation

The RBAs invite the participants of the FSN Forum to read the discussion paper on 'Inclusive value chains for sustainable agriculture and scaled up food security and nutrition outcomes', and engage in a stimulating discussion that will contribute to identifying a broader set of challenges and opportunities related to NSVC development, collaboration among partners, as well as identifying good practices and lessons learned from past or on-going NSVC experiences on the ground.  

In particular, we encourage participants to explore the following questions:

1) What challenges and opportunities arise when developing VC to be more nutrition-sensitive?

2) What examples of nutrition-sensitive value chain approaches can you share and what lessons can be learned from them? Examples can come from:

2.1) Governments: policies, regulatory frameworks, etc.

2.2) Development actors: development projects, public-private partnerships, etc.

2.3) Private sector: nutritious products for the bottom of the pyramid, marketplace for nutrition, etc.

3) Does the framework as presented in the discussion paper help you identify barriers and opportunities for nutrition-sensitive value chain development? What would be needed to render the framework more operational?

4) What would you consider as the main barriers to and enabling factors for scaling up through replication, adaptation, and expansion of these models of interventions?

The outputs of this consultation will be an important input for the RBAs to refine their approach to nutrition-sensitive value chain development, and to move from Principles to Action, bringing this approach to on-going operations in the field. Given the vast nature of the topic, we particularly welcome comments that can lead to practical recommendations.

We thank in advance all the contributors for sharing their views and experiences in this innovative field. 

[1]FAO. 2014. Developing sustainable food value chains – Guiding principles. Rome

[2] Gelli, A., Hawkes, C., Donovan, J., Harris, J., Allen, S. L., De Brauw, A., Henson, S., Johnson, N., Garrett, J. & Ryckembusch, D. 2015. Value chains and nutrition: A framework to support the identification, design, and evaluation of interventions. IFPRI Discussion Paper 01413. Washington DC: IFPRI; and De la Peña, I., Garrett, J. and Gelli, A. (Forthcoming) Nutrition-sensitive value chain from a smallholder perspective: A framework for project design. Rome: IFAD.

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Las cadenas de valor se modelan cuando en cada pais haya una verdadera politica de Seguridad Alimentaria y Nutricional  que  evite los intermediarios enre el productor y el consumidor final y fije unos precios justos para la comercializacion de cada producto y no como sucede en la actualidad que se fijan los precios en las centrales de abastos de acuerdo a la cantidad de producto que llegue , de esta manera el productor minoritario generalmente sale perdiendo porque no recoge ni siquiera lo de los insumos.

por otra parte se debe volver a la modalidad de que cada campesino produzca para su propio consumo variedad de productos que garanticen su seguridad alimentaria y la de su entorno mediante el uso de trueque de excedentes , o mediante la organizacion de cooperativas de pequeños productores que les permitan comercializar a precio justo sin intermediarios que se queden con la ganancia que le correspode como productor.


Nutrition sensitivity with regard food value chains is constrained by the lack of diversification due to land limitations and lack of diversity of seeds. Ever increasing populations coupled with unsustainable methods of farming make huge parcels of  land to become unproductive to support plant growth and pressure mount in terms of demand for limited arable land. This constrains diversification. The second point on lack of seed diversity  has increasingly worsened over the past years with the reinforcement of commercial agriculture which builds dependence on external seeds supplied by commercial entities. These seeds are hybrid in nature and therefore have to be bought every season. With the poverty levels among the rural farming households; they become dependent, lose food production sovereignity and can only bank on hybrids supplied by commercial entities. Further, due to the use of chemicals in the production, these can have adverse effects on human nutrition endangered by GMOs and residual chemical elements which compromises the quality of food. 

السيد Valentine Obiasogu

University of Ibadan & The International Association of Students in Agriculture and Related Sciences, IITA agripreneur.

In the Nigerian context where the majority of food produced locally is produced by peasant farmers, storage and transportation means will be of utmost importance. The 2015 Buhari-Oshibanjo campaign idea towards repositioning agriculture in Nigeria brought about a good idea of which no implementation has been made to the best of my knowledge. The locals produce, the government buys from them, stores or export or sell to the public. It is the smartest idea in the Nigerian context. Silos wouldn't be filled with rodents and the federal agricultural system will be set on track. Recently, the Udotong Brothers of the Releaf Group contacted me on working with them. The fact is that the realities of the agricultural system in Nigeria is porous, it's in the fabric. Jehiel Oliver's Hello tractor for IITA young agripreneurs is still on hold because the sponsors at all levels want a cut. The most promising is improving the storage and transportation. In that way, the ones produced will be put to effective use and the ones to be produced later will be stored. 

The students of the Master in Human Development and Food Security at the University of Roma Tre, Italy prepared two country case studies (Kenya and Peru) in which they analysed the existing framework concerning the introduction of nutrition sensitive value chains (NSVC).

Both papers explore the national economic and social conditions of the countries’ food systems, present examples of already existing value chains and provide suggestions on how the framework presented by the RBAs can further facilitate the creation of successful NSVC.

The study on Peru was carried out by:

Augusta Correa Rojas, Camilla Spallino, Davidson Nkoro, Eleonora Cannamela, Federica Borrelli, Maurizio Furst, Maria Costanza Gomez Lemos, Nataliia Gavryliuk, Noemi Renzetti, Thomas Preindl, Valentina Terribile, Yacouba Coulibaly

You can download it here

The study on Kenya was carried out by: 

Mildred Chitima, Andreé-Anne Côté-St-Laurent, Hashem Darkashalli, Irena Giorgis, Edda Isla,

Alejandra Lizarraga, Marcel Mallow, Heather Mondin, Elise Polak, Kim Voogt, Haritz Goya

You can download it here

There are a number of characteristics of the value chain approach that make it suitable to addressing food security objectives and that add value to other approaches:

It draws attention to incentives. The value chain approach works to ensure that incentives are in place to promote desired behavior, which is an efficient way to sustainably achieve desired results. The value chain approach helps to:

  • Identify disincentives for the private sector to respond to food supply gaps and invest in food production and processing, such as government-instituted export bans and price controls that lower potential returns and increase risk.
  • Identify disincentives for producers to increase their productivity and switch to more lucrative livelihoods, such as inadequate market infrastructure and large fluctuations in the prices of basic staple foods.
  • Identify incentives and disincentives for the production and sale of nutritious food, including consumer demand and production costs vis-a-vis less nutritious options.

It is market-driven. The value chain approach focuses on linking households to growing markets, so that households can earn income to purchase additional food. This may diversify their diet and reduce the risk of relying solely on their own production for their food security.

It is a systems approach. By looking at the value chain system, this approach assists in understanding the systemic impacts of project interventions. This helps identify high-impact interventions that might otherwise be overlooked such as:

  • Striking the right balance between improving productivity in areas with high agro-ecological potential while ensuring market functionality to improve availability in food deficit regions, supported by the emphasis on understanding product flows and transaction costs.
  • Targeting a diverse array of value chains instead of production of a single staple food. This can include non-agricultural value chains to improve food access, when this is identified as a critical factor to food security.
  • Strengthening the enabling environment to ensure the right incentives are in place for value chain actors that support food security. Incentives are shaped through social safety nets, government services, and interventions in food markets, among other areas.
  • Improving supporting markets for the products and services that are important to value chain actors. Critical supporting markets for food security include agricultural extension services, appropriate technology such as small-scale irrigation, transportation, storage, access to finance, leasing of farm equipment and many more.

It seeks sustainable solutions. In the past, the term “food security” in the development context was often used interchangeably with “humanitarian assistance” or “food aid”. These interventions often focused on alleviating short-term needs, and less on creating systems and relationships to sustainably address the underlying constraints. The value chain approach identifies the underlying causes and works towards sustainable local solutions by leveraging market forces, which leads to longer-term change.

It emphasizes leverage. By facilitating the actions of market actors rather than providing services directly to beneficiaries, the value chain approach is suited to reaching greater scale. Opportunities to leverage the investments and relationships of private sector actors can greatly

The Relevance of is Food Security to Value Chain programing

Food insecurity has a significant impact upon the effectiveness of value chain programming in many contexts. In many countries receiving development assistance, the majority of the population is food insecure. This includes both rural households that have periods of food insufficiency, and urban households that spend up to 80 percent of their incomes on food and so are greatly affected by fluctuations in food prices. Thus many of the participants and would-be participants in value chain programs are food insecure. Food insecurity shapes the behavior of households and therefore the success of value chain initiatives. Food insecure households are often less likely to take risks to make investments in upgrading. Individuals that are malnourished have a diminished capacity to engage in value chain programming, due to deteriorated cognitive capacity and greater susceptibility to illnesses. Those food insecure households that do engage in value chain initiatives may divert resources away from productive investments to bolstering household food security if these initiatives do not directly address food security. Addressing food security is therefore critical in many contexts to improving the outreach and effectiveness of value chain initiatives.

Conversely, value chain programming can and often does impact food security. Although it is frequently assumed that raising the incomes of the poor will automatically improve food security, this is not always the case. Research indicates that value chain activities can actually have an inadvertent but negative impact on food security. For example, encouraging the cultivation of cash crops can reduce household food production, while the processing and storage of food can greatly reduce its nutritional value for consumers. Income opportunities that remove women from child care and food preparation responsibilities may worsen nutritional outcomes. A food security lens helps value chain practitioners to identify the potential impact of activities on food security and develop mitigation strategies for any possible negative impacts. Moreover, it can help to guide value chain programs in understanding what strategies can create positive food security outcomes.



World Food System Center. World Food System Center Annual Report 2013.

Erickson, P J. (2007) Conceptualizing food systems for global environmental change research. Global Environmental Change.

Global J, Kahn LK, Bisogni (1998) C. A conceptual model of the food and nutrition system. So Sci Med

Anobetti A, Kloog I et al. (2004) Increasing CO2 threatens human nutrition.

Hammond R (2005) Complex Adaptive Systems, Focus 1.1. In: Roni N, ed. Introduction to the US Food System – Public Health, Environment and Equity. John Hopkins Center for a Livable Future. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass.

Gillespie S. (2004) Nutrition Policy and Practice: Unpacking the Politics.

In: 2013 Global Food Policy Report. IFPRI.

Why not Nutrition Value Chains when Their Value Stems from Nutrition?

As I have argued in my two submissions, what links food production and end-user and food production itself, derive their value from the inherent value of food as the third absolutely essential thing for life after air and water.

Unless we needed food, it would be meaningless to talk about food storage, transport, processing and selling services as things having any need, hence any value.

So, as we seem to have to take into account business interests, it is reasonable that those services mentioned above receive a reward commensurable with the value they contribute to timely distribution of affordable and wholesome valuable food to end-users. I believe such a value chain would not only be fair, but it would be supported by our current scientific knowledge.

Therefore, I very much hope that the committee would seriously consider re-naming 'VC's' as Nutrition Value chains, and leave their commercial use unspecified as we all know how wide spread it is. After all, we all work to extend and enhance both the quality and quantity of global nutrition.

Best wishes!

Lal Manavado.

The following is an over-simplification of the problems facing developing food production technology and delivery but there is a matter to be shared in this topic and that is in closed-loop nutrition, i.e. using urban wastes to provide the fertiliser to feed the people who produce the waste.  Wastes contain a wider range, and larger amounts of trace elements than mineral fertilisers and, in effect, are Carbon neutral in production.  (Bear in mind that UN-sponsored research showed that the electrical energy to make 1 tonne of Nitrogen nutrient in a modern USA factory is 21,000 kWh!)  The human race has to take the urban waste route to nutrition if it is to survive.  See the evidence and practical record of how it has been done safely in “Survival” by Bill Butterworth, Amazon and Kindle.

To shape value chains in order to improve nutrition, more still needs to be done through post-harvest from rural areas.

Storage facilities need to be improved mostly in developing communities.

Good transportation systems need to be in place from rural areas where foods are produced to the cities where these products are finally processed or consumed.

Robust market information should be developed, managed and made available with easy access for all operators including small-scale farmers and middlemen.

Successful marketing requires learning new skills, new techniques and new ways of obtaining information. Extension officers working with ministries of agriculture or NGOs are often well-trained in horticultural production techniques but usually lack knowledge of marketing or post-harvest handling.

Working Group on Nutrition-Sensitive Value Chains of the Rome-based Agencies


Dear participants,

We, members of the RBA WG, want to express our very sincere gratitude for sharing your experiences, thoughts and projects in this discussion forum. We are delighted with the rich exchanges that we’ve had over the last few weeks.

The Nutrition-Sensitive Value Chains (NSVC) framework is envisioned as a tool to identify challenges and opportunities for nutrition at different stages of the VC. The summary of this discussion (which is currently underway) will help us refine and improve our approach to NSVC. In the meantime we would like to bring your attention to some opportunities and challenges raised by participants during our discussion:

  • Opportunities: Stimulating demand for nutritious food through better nutrition awareness, education and marketing strategies; diversifying agricultural production and increasing the availability of naturally nutrient-dense foods; fortification and biofortification; strengthening value chains for local and traditional foods to meet nutrient needs and diet diversification of local populations; addressing food safety issues as well as reducing food loss and waste as a way to increase availability of safe nutritious foods in the market; etc.
  • Challenges: Value chains should be not only nutrition-sensitive, but also economically viable. A number of questions then arise: how can we make a better business case for nutrition-sensitive value chains? How can we address the fragmentation and lack of coordination among value chain actors and across sectors? How to ensure inclusion of the poor in nutrition-sensitive value chain approaches, both as producers (with limited assets, access to services and capacities) and as consumers (with limited purchasing power)? Another set of challenges revolves around the need to adopt a more holistic approach to NSVC development: how to ensure environmental sustainability of NSVC development? What challenges and risks need to be addressed to make NSVC gender-sensitive? How can we move from the commodity-focused nature of VCs to an approach that addresses various VCs at a time with the objective of improving diets?

The discussion also showcased a number of examples of the initiatives that have aimed to leverage the power of markets and VC for nutrition and the experiences that will also enrich our understanding of NSVC development in practice. Participants also discussed the importance of the different impact pathways (income pathway, own production pathway and market pathway), along with the 2 key mediators of impact, nutrition awareness and, more prominently, women's empowerment which emerged as a central element for NSVC development. A conducive and enabling environment is also required for VC to significantly and sustainable contribute to more nutritious food systems, hence the importance of strong government engagement and coordination among different sectors and stakeholder groups.

While we must bring this discussion to a close, we would like to invite you to send any additional contributions directly to [email protected] within the next few days. We will do our best to incorporate the outputs of this consultation to refine our approach to NSVC development and to define joint work of the RBA WG on NSVC. An updated version of the Paper will be developed and shared with FSN participants in due course.

We thank you again for your contributions to this discussion.

Kind regards,

The members of the Working Group on Nutrition-Sensitive Value Chains of the Rome-based Agencies

English version

How can value chains be shaped to improve nutrition?

Mylene Rodríguez Leyton, Nutricionista y Magister

Docente investigador Universidad Metropolitana

Barranquilla- Colombia-

  1. What challenges and opportunities arise when making VCs to make them more sensitive to nutrition?


When value chains are formed to make them more sensitive to nutrition, different challenges emerge as the following:

To improve the perspective of food security and nutrition (FSN) towards a systemic approach that allows the articulation of interventions from any point in the network to achieve objectives related to the improvement of malnutrition situations, from the production and availability of food to the promotion of lifestyles that include a healthy diet for the prevention of chronic non communicable diseases. In such a way that it is possible to transcend the fragmented vision where the value chain is conceived in a disjointed way and the points of connection between agriculture and nutrition are identified, to cite an example.

This implies that sectoral interventions in nutrition must be modified by multisectoral interventions with the participation, commitment and attitude of all those involved as individuals or as institutions that transcend individualism to cooperative and collaborative work.

Value chains that are more sensitive to nutrition face the challenge of visualizing globally and adapting locally as the populations of the world face problems that, because of their complexity, are immersed in paradoxes such as the double face of malnutrition and its individual and global consequences.

Another challenge is to develop the capacities of the actors, to empower them to generate leadership in the search for alternatives to achieve the sustainability of the value chains.


The same complexity of food and nutritional security generates enormous sources of opportunities for governments and different actors to call public or private organizations, such as:Due to its complexity, it is possible to link food and nutrition security with development at different local, regional or national levels. FSN public policies can be integrated with public social policies, generating synergies to improve the conditions and quality of life of the most vulnerable groups.A chain of value conceived from a net vision rather than a linear one is vertical or horizontal is more appropriate to intervene the determinants of food and nutritional security from its complex and multidimensional character.Nutrition-sensitive value chains should generate not only economic results but also take into account their responsibility for improving nutrition with the definition of strategies and policies aimed at producers to improve the supply of nutritious foods, others that are aimed at improving The demand for nutritious food directed at consumers and those defined to add nutritional value as those that specifically focus on preserving or improving food security and nutritional value along the value chain, through actions such as Biofortification, storage and transport to conserve nutrients, food enrichment during processing, nutritional labeling, and measures to minimize food waste and waste to mitigate the negative effects of food lost or wasted in terms of food security And income, as well as Effects on the environment.FSN's systemic and network approach allows generating points of convergence, a shared vision of problems, which will allow sharing responsibilities or distribute them, optimize resources and budgets, and establish synergy between sectors such as agriculture, health, education and the generation of strategies and Interconnected and interdependent policies for the improvement of nutrition.The collaborative work with the participation of the public and private sectors is an opportunity for collective learning that will lead to positive results in improving the nutritional conditions of populations and where each of these sectors will play a leading role, the private sector as a generator of behavior change and the public sector as a facilitator.

One of the major objectives of value chains is to consolidate the interest of small producers in order to achieve economies of scale in the purchase of inputs and in the sale of products, so that they can then negotiate with the big traders, suppliers , Retailers and agro-processors. Likewise, with a value chain, participants can create the capacity to innovate and diversify as the market demands change. Value chains help reduce transaction costs, increase and improve rural incomes, increase the flow of information between different links, and improve technology transfer.Nutrition-sensitive value chains should be able to generate interventions in terms of beneficiary selection, depending on the nutritional or economic vulnerability criteria and providing adequate solutions in the different links in the chain.Food marketing from the perspective of a nutrition-sensitive value chain allows food farmers to produce food not only for their own consumption but to sell them and with the income generated satisfy other basic needs such as health and education; Which is contributing to the improvement in the quality of life itself and the other actors who constitute consumers by making available healthy foods, varied according to their needs to improve their nutrition and health, at lower costs and with an availability Stable and not seasonal.The establishment of the systems of monitoring and evaluation of the processes of the value chain will allow to measure the results in the nutritional scope in the homes.

2) What examples of CVCN approaches can you share and what lessons can be learned from them? Examples can come from:

2.1) Governments: policies, regulatory frameworks, etc.Production chains:

For more than a decade, the Government of Colombia, led by the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, and the agents of the different agro-productive chains, academia, research and technological development entities, and in general Different private sector actors have been working on a state policy aimed at continuously improving the country's competitive environment, improving productivity, promoting integration, developing productive conglomerates, promoting domestic consumption, expanding access to external markets with strategy Called productive chains; The productive chains in the agricultural sector have an integration from the local, regional and national levels (Minagriculture, value chains)In Colombia, several successful cases have been developed from the strategy of production chains, such as the case of the dairy chain which, in addition to the aforementioned objectives, seeks to improve the health status of milk production in the country, in order to strengthen The competitiveness of the dairy chain.In addition to the case of dairy can be mentioned the cases of fruits and vegetables; It should be mentioned that although the value chain in the agri-food sector refers to vertical activities within the chain, from agricultural production, through the processing stage to wholesale and retail distribution, vertical integration alone does not It is a chain of value; A value chain is not a horizontal integration, where producers through cooperatives collaborate to obtain greater benefits. From this perspective, it can be affirmed that the value chains developed in Colombia, although achieving objectives from the perspective of producers, are still performing in an incipient way as value chains that take into account nutrition (CVCN), a situation given not only by conception But because our country is only beginning to recover from several decades of forced displacement of the rural population resulting from the armed conflict.Agro-food sector Value Chains arise with different objectives such as selling a new product or introducing an existing product to a new market, ensuring food safety with high quality products, maintaining or increasing market presence in the midst of increasing competition Domestic or external or Responding to new government regulations that affect the product process (Equity and Development Magazine No. 9 / January - June 2008)Another example of support for value chains that contribute to nutrition is the Local Procurement Strategy, whose objective is to contribute to food security, supporting the dynamization of local economies, seeking through supply solutions, articulated between the Institute Colombian Family Welfare Program -ICBF-, program operators and producers, strengthening the socio-economic inclusion of families, communities and local enterprises to contribute to food security based on the availability and accessibility of food. This is led by the - ICBF - and is applied throughout the country.

2.2) Development actors: development projects, public-private partnerships, etc.The Food and Nutrition Improvement Program (Maná) is a comprehensive multisectoral strategy aimed at solving the nutritional and food insecurity problem of the children of the Department of Antioquia in Colombia. This population was identified in a study developed under the New Antioquia Plan. This plan is aimed at achieving the commitment of the population in the construction of a democracy that facilitates the understanding of the problems faced by the population and that generates, from this understanding, decision making processes, action plans And self-management processes.This plan proposes several strategic areas of action; One of them is the promotion of integral human development with equity and freedom, including integral development as one that creates opportunities for people through the creation of new skills, while providing the necessary conditions for development and employment Of such skills. It is intended that this training process offers human beings good sanitary conditions (access to adequate housing, drinking water and basic public services); Education for peace and productive processes that integrate democracy, efficiency, as well as care and respect for the environment.The main purpose of the Master Plan for Food Supply and Security for Bogotá is to regulate the food supply function of the Bogota Capital District to guarantee sufficient and stable supply of food, with quality, nutritional criteria and access in a timely manner. Reducing the price and strengthening urban and rural economic circuits.Likewise, it seeks to ensure effective provision by the population and the marketing of products from the basic food basket at fair prices and within the reach of all, linking district, regional and national production to integrated food demand by Through the development of transparent and reliable processes and the creation of a network of equipment to support the sector.

2.3) Private sector: nutritional products for the base of the pyramid, market for nutrition, etc.

The private sector - usually associated with government, civil society, or both - may be better positioned to provide efficient solutions because of its resources (financial and material), innovation and management capacity; Regarding nutrition, non-governmental organizations in Colombia often become government partners for the operation of social programs and food and nutritional security; The food industries become allies by simultaneously developing their commercial foodstuffs fortified foods or special formulations aimed at improving the nutritional value for programs that benefit vulnerable populations and require increasing their nutritional contribution.

Dupont is a company that drives inclusive innovation to help solve the world's biggest challenges, including producing more nutritious, healthful and safe Food Ingredients, offering a wide variety of sustainable ingredients that increase the quality of food products , While improving its nutritional profile and shelf life.It also offers Comprehensive Food Protection solutions to address consumer concerns about food safety and quality that clearly drive purchasing decisions today, manufacturers require effective food protection solutions and efficient.

3) Does the framework presented in the discussion paper help you identify barriers and opportunities for the development of CVCN? What would be needed to make the framework more operational?

If it helps to consolidate a systemic vision that allows an integrated and integrated approach to food security and nutrition, to make the framework more operational, it is necessary to implement regulatory frameworks that allow different actors, especially the public sector, to act in order to advance improvement Of nutrition without the presence of regulatory barriers that prevent investment and intervention.It is also necessary to train the different actors involved in conceptual aspects that allow the understanding of the concepts of value chain and food and nutritional security from a systemic and complex approach that evidences the interrelations that configure food and nutritional security and Allows identifying the points of convergence to generate collaborative and solidarity actions that allow to improve nutrition from value chains originating in different points.

4) What do you consider the main barriers and facilitating factors of the expansion through the replication, adaptation and expansion of these intervention models?

Regarding barriers, the limited vision of food and nutrition security and its main links where each of the actors mainly conceives their own role and responsibilities, which avoids conceiving and making operational the concept of value chain for nutrition.It must be taken into account when replicating the experiences, adapting them to the context and analyzing the success factors of the experiences that are being taken as context.Facilitating factors for expansion through replication, adaptation and expansion of these intervention models include the creation of shared vision and goals by all those involved in the value chain for nutrition.The international, national and local regulatory frameworks for food and nutrition security from the perspective of value chains with systemic approaches, the formulation of policies and plans incorporated into government development plans.The allocation of budgets and the definition of roles and responsibilities for the value chains of food and nutritional security.

Spanish version

¿Cómo pueden modelarse las cadenas de valor para mejorar la nutrición?           

Mylene Rodríguez Leyton, Nutricionista y Magister

Docente investigador Universidad Metropolitana

Barranquilla- Colombia-


1) ¿Qué desafíos y oportunidades surgen cuando se conforman las CV para que sean más sensibles a la nutrición?


Cuando se conforman cadenas de valor para que sean más sensibles a la nutrición surgen diferentes desafíos como los que se enuncian a continuación:

Mejorar la perspectiva de la seguridad alimentaria y la nutrición (SAN) hacia un enfoque sistémico que permita generar articulación de las intervenciones desde cualquier punto de la red para lograr objetivos relacionados con la mejora de las situaciones de malnutrición, desde la producción y disponibilidad de alimentos hasta la promoción de estilos de vida que incluyan una dieta saludable para la prevención de las enfermedades crónicas no transmisibles. De tal manera que se logre trascender de la visión fragmentada donde se concibe de manera desarticulada la cadena de valor y se identifiquen los puntos de conexión de la agricultura con la nutrición, por citar un ejemplo.

Lo anterior implica que las intervenciones sectoriales en nutrición deben ser modificadas por intervenciones multisectoriales con la participación, el compromiso y la actitud de  todos los involucrados como personas o como instituciones que trascienda del individualismo al trabajo cooperativo y colaborativo.

Las cadenas de valor para que sean más sensibles a la nutrición enfrentan el desafío de  visualizar globalmente y adaptarse localmente ya que las poblaciones del mundo enfrentan problemáticas que por su misma complejidad están inmersas en paradojas tales como la doble cara de la malnutrición y sus consecuencias individuales y globales

Otro de los desafíos que surgen es desarrollar capacidades de los actores, empoderarlos para generar liderazgo en la búsqueda de alternativas para lograr la sostenibilidad de las cadenas de valor.


La misma complejidad de la seguridad alimentaria y nutricional le genera enormes  fuentes de oportunidades para los gobiernos y los diferentes actores llámense organizaciones públicas o privadas, tales como:

Por su complejidad, es posible la articulación la seguridad  alimentaria y nutricional con el desarrollo en los distintos ámbitos local, regional o nacional. Las políticas públicas de SAN pueden ser integradas con políticas públicas sociales generando sinergias para el mejoramiento de las condiciones y calidad de vida de los grupos más vulnerables.

Una cadena de valor concebida desde una visión de red y no de carácter lineal sea vertical u horizontal es más apropiada para intervenir los determinantes de la seguridad alimentaria y nutricional desde su carácter complejo y multidimensional.

Las cadenas de valor sensibles a la nutrición deben generar no solo resultados económicos sino tener presente su responsabilidad en la mejora de la nutrición con la definición de estrategias y políticas orientadas a los productores para mejorar el suministro de alimentos nutritivos, otras que se orientan a mejorar la demanda de alimentos nutritivos  dirigidas a los consumidores y las que se definen para añadir valor nutritivo como aquellas que se centran específicamente en preservar o mejorar la seguridad alimentaria y el valor nutricional a lo largo de la cadena de valor, a través de acciones como la biofortificación, almacenamiento y transporte para conservar los nutrientes, enriquecimiento de los alimentos durante su procesamiento, etiquetado nutricional y medidas para minimizar la pérdida y los desperdicios de alimentos con el fin de mitigar los efectos negativos de los alimentos perdidos o desperdiciados en términos de seguridad alimentaria y de ingresos, así como los efectos sobre el medio ambiente.

El enfoque sistémico  y de red de la SAN permite generar puntos de convergencia, una visión compartida de los problemas, lo cual permitirá compartir responsabilidades o distribuirlas, optimizar recursos y presupuestos y establecer sinergia entre sectores como el agropecuario, salud, educación y generar estrategias y políticas interconectadas e interdependientes para la mejora de la nutrición.

El trabajo colaborativo con la participación cooperación entre los sectores públicos y privados es una oportunidad de aprendizaje colectivo que redundará en resultados positivos en la mejora de las condiciones de nutrición de las poblaciones y donde cada uno de estos sectores jugarán un papel protagónico, el sector privado como generador de cambio de comportamiento  y el sector público como facilitador.

Uno de los mayores objetivos que buscan las cadenas de valor es consolidar el interés de los pequeños productores para conseguir economías de escala en la compra de insumos y en la venta de productos, para que luego estén en condiciones de negociar con los grandes comerciantes, proveedores, minoristas y agroprocesadores. De igual forma con una cadena de valor se puede crear en los participantes la capacidad de innovar y diversificar a medida que vayan cambiando las exigencias del mercado. Las cadenas de valor contribuyen a reducir los costos de transacción, aumentar y mejorar los ingresos rurales, aumentar el flujo de información entre diferentes eslabones y mejorar la transferencia tecnológica.

Las cadenas de  valor sensibles a la nutrición deben tener la capacidad  de generar intervenciones en términos de selección de beneficiarios, según el criterio de  vulnerabilidad sea esta de tipo nutricional o económico y proveer soluciones adecuadas en los diferentes eslabones de la cadena.

La Comercialización de alimentos vista de la perspectiva de cadena de valor sensibles a la nutrición, permite a los agricultores de alimentos producir los alimentos no solo para su autoconsumo sino para venderlos y con los ingresos  generados satisfacer otras de sus necesidades básicas como salud y educación; con lo cual está contribuyendo a la mejora en la calidad de vida propia y de los demás actores que se constituyen en consumidores poniendo a su disposición alimentos saludables, variados acordes a sus necesidades para mejorar su nutrición y salud, a menores costos y con una disponibilidad estable y no de temporada.

El establecimiento de los sistemas de seguimiento y evaluación de los procesos de la cadena de valor va a permitir medir los resultados en el ámbito nutricional en los hogares.

2) ¿Qué ejemplos de enfoques de CVCN puede compartir y qué lecciones pueden aprenderse de ellos? Los ejemplos pueden proceder de:

2.1) Gobiernos: políticas, marcos normativos, etc.

Cadenas productivas: Desde hace más de una década el Gobierno de Colombia, liderado por el Ministerio de Agricultura y Desarrollo Rural, y los agentes de las diferentes cadenas agro-productivas, la academia, la entidades de investigación y desarrollo tecnológico, y en general los diferentes actores del sector privado vienen trabajando en un política de estado tendiente a mejorar continuamente el entorno competitivo del país, para mejorar la productividad, fomentar la integración, desarrollar conglomerados productivos, fomentar el consumo interno , ampliar el acceso a los mercados externos con la estrategia denominada cadenas productivas; Las cadenas productivas en el sector agropecuario tienen una integración desde los ámbitos local, regional y nacional ( Minagricultura, cadenas de valor)

En Colombia se han desarrollado varios casos exitosos desde la estrategia de cadenas productivas, como el caso de la cadena del sector lácteo que además de los objetivos anteriormente mencionados busca mejorar el estatus sanitario de la producción de leche en el país, con el fin de fortalecer la competitividad de la cadena láctea.

Además del caso de los lácteos pueden mencionarse los casos de las frutas y hortalizas; es de mencionar que aunque la cadena de valor en el sector agroalimentario, se refiere a las actividades verticales dentro de la cadena, desde la producción agropecuaria, pasando por la etapa de procesamiento hasta la distribución mayorista y minorista, una integración vertical por sí sola no es una cadena de valor; una cadena de valor tampoco es una integración horizontal, donde los productores por medio de cooperativas se colaboran para obtener mayores beneficios. Desde esta mirada puede afirmarse que las cadenas de valor desarrolladas en Colombia si bien logran objetivos desde la perspectiva de los productores aún se desempeñan de manera incipiente como cadenas de valor que tengan en cuenta la nutrición (CVCN), situación dada no solamente por la concepción sino porque nuestro país apenas empieza a recuperarse de varias décadas de desplazamiento forzado de la población rural producto del conflicto armado.

Las Cadenas de valor del sector agroalimentario surgen con distintos objetivos tales como vender un producto nuevo o introducir un producto existente a un nuevo mercado, garantizar seguridad alimentaria con productos de alta calidad, mantener o aumentar la presencia en un mercado en medio de una creciente competencia doméstica o externa o  Responder a nuevas regulaciones del gobierno que afecten el proceso del producto (Revista Equidad y Desarrollo Nº 9 / Enero - junio de 2008)

Otro ejemplo de apoyo a las cadenas de valor que contribuyen a la nutrición lo constituye la Estrategia de Compras locales cuyo objetivo es contribuir a la seguridad alimentaria, apoyando la dinamización de las economías locales, buscando a través de soluciones de abastecimiento, articuladas entre el Instituto Colombiano de Bienestar Familiar –ICBF-, los operadores de los programas y los productores, fortaleciendo la inclusión socio-económica de familias, comunidades y emprendimientos locales para contribuir a la seguridad alimentaria a partir de los ejes de disponibilidad y accesibilidad a los alimentos. Esta es liderada por el – ICBF- y es aplicada en todo el país.

2.2) Actores de desarrollo: proyectos de desarrollo, asociaciones público-privadas, etc.

El Programa de Mejoramiento Alimentario y nutricional (Maná) es una estrategia integral multisectorial dirigida a resolver el problema de la precariedad nutricional y alimentaria de los niños del Departamento de Antioquia en Colombia. Esta población fue identificada en un estudio desarrollado en el marco del Plan Antioquia Nueva. Este plan va dirigido a conseguir el compromiso de la población en la construcción de una democracia que facilite la comprensión de los problemas a los que se enfrenta la población y que genere, a partir de dicha comprensión, procesos de toma de decisiones, planes de actuación y procesos de autogestión.

Este plan propone varios ámbitos estratégicos de actuación; uno de ellos es la promoción de un desarrollo humano integral con equidad y libertad, comprendiendo el desarrollo integral como aquel que genera oportunidades para las personas a través de la creación de nuevas habilidades, al tiempo que proporciona las condiciones necesarias para el desarrollo y el empleo de dichas habilidades. Se pretende que este proceso formativo ofrezca a los seres humanos buenas condiciones sanitarias (acceso a una vivienda adecuada, al agua potable y a los servicios públicos básicos); educación para la paz y procesos productivos que integren democracia, eficacia, así como el cuidado y respeto por el medio ambiente.

El Plan Maestro de Abastecimiento y Seguridad Alimentaria para Bogotá tiene por objetivo general regular la función de abastecimiento alimentario del Distrito Capital de Bogotá para garantizar la disponibilidad suficiente y estable del suministro de alimentos, con calidad, con criterio nutricional y con acceso de manera oportuna y permanente, reduciendo el precio y fortaleciendo los circuitos económicos urbanos y rurales.

De igual forma pretende garantizar un efectivo aprovisionamiento por parte de la población y la comercialización de productos de la canasta básica de alimentos a precio justo y al alcance de todas y todos, articulando la producción distrital, regional y nacional a la demanda integrada de alimentos por medio del desarrollo de procesos transparentes y confiables y de la conformación de una red de equipamientos de apoyo al sector.

2.3) Sector privado: productos nutritivos para la base de la pirámide, mercado para la nutrición, etc.

El sector privado -generalmente asociado con el gobierno, la sociedad civil, o ambos- puede estar mejor posicionado para dar soluciones eficientes debido a sus recursos (financieros y materiales), su innovación y su capacidad de gestión; respecto a la nutrición las Organizaciones no gubernamentales en Colombia, con frecuencia se convierten en socios del gobierno para la operación de programas sociales y de seguridad alimentaria y nutricional; las industrias de alimentos de convierten en aliados al desarrollar de forma simultánea a sus productos alimenticios de tipo comercial alimentos enriquecidos o formulaciones especiales tendientes a mejorar el valor nutricional con destino a programas que benefician poblaciones vulnerables y requieren aumentar su aporte nutricional.

Dupont, es una empresa que impulsando la innovación inclusiva para ayudar a resolver los desafíos más grandes del mundo, entre ellos  producir  Ingredientes para alimentos más nutritivos, saludables y seguros, ofreciendo una amplia variedad de ingredientes sostenibles, que incrementan la calidad de los productos alimenticios, al mismo tiempo que mejora su perfil nutricional y vida en anaquel.Así mismo ofrece soluciones Integrales para la Protección de los Alimentos para dar respuesta a las preocupaciones de los consumidores sobre seguridad y calidad de los alimentos que impulsan claramente las decisiones de compra en la actualidad, los fabricantes requieren soluciones para protección de los alimentos que sean eficaces y eficientes.

3) ¿Le ayuda el marco presentado en el documento de discusión a identificar barreras y oportunidades para el desarrollo de CVCN? ¿Qué se necesitaría para que el marco fuese más operativo?

Si ayuda a consolidar una visión sistémica que permite un enfoque integrado e integral de la seguridad alimentaria y la nutrición, para que el marco fuese más operativo se requiere implementar marcos normativos que permitan actuar a los diferentes actores especialmente del sector público para avanzar en la mejora de la nutrición sin que se encuentren barreras normativas que impidan realizar las inversiones e intervenciones.

Así mismo, se requiere que realizar capacitar a los diferentes actores involucrados en aspectos conceptuales que permitan la comprensión de los conceptos de cadena de valor y la seguridad alimentaria y nutricional desde enfoque sistémico y complejo que evidencie las interrelaciones que configuran la seguridad alimentaria y nutricional y permita identificar los puntos de convergencia para generar acciones colaborativas y solidarias que permitan mejorar la nutrición desde cadenas de valor originadas en diferentes puntos.

4) ¿Cuáles considera son las principales barreras, y factores facilitadores, de la ampliación a través de la replicación, adaptación y expansión de estos modelos de intervenciones?

En cuanto a las barreras la visión limitada de la seguridad alimentaria y nutricional y sus principales eslabones donde cada uno de los actores concibe principalmente su propia función y responsabilidades propias lo cual evita concebir y hacer operativo el concepto de cadena de valor para la nutrición.

Se debe tener en cuenta al replicar las experiencias, adecuarlas al contexto y analizar los factores de éxito de las experiencias que se están tomando como contexto.

Los factores facilitadores para la ampliación a través de la replicación, adaptación y expansión de estos modelos de intervenciones incluyen la creación de visión y objetivos compartidos por parte de todos los involucrados en la cadena de valor para la nutrición.

Los marcos normativos internacionales, nacionales y locales para la seguridad alimentaria y nutricional desde la perspectiva de cadenas de valor con enfoques sistémicos, la formulación de políticas y planes incorporados a planes de desarrollo gubernamental.

La asignación de presupuestos y la definición de roles y responsabilidades para las cadenas de valor de la seguridad alimentaria y nutricional.