Institute of Economic Growth, Delhi, India: Making Agriculture Work for Nutrition
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Institute of Economic Growth, Delhi, India: Making Agriculture Work for Nutrition

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The past 50 years have been a period of extraordinary food crop productivity and growth. Despite these massive gains in productivity and agricultural development, malnutrition has persisted across......

The past 50 years have been a period of extraordinary food crop productivity and growth. Despite these massive gains in productivity and agricultural development, malnutrition has persisted across certain regions of the developing world. In India, these challenges, which range from micronutrient malnutrition and the emergence of over-nutrition, have created a challenging landscape of health and human nutrition. Despite exceptional economic growth, high rates of childhood stunting and micronutrient malnutrition persist. Improved agricultural policies that can change nutritional outcomes require a better understanding of the links between agriculture and nutrition, as well as complimentary policies in water, sanitation, and household behavior change. This lecture presents international lessons learned in successfully using agricultural pathways to reduce malnutrition with important implications for the Indian context.

Distinguished Lecture given at the Institute of Economic Growth, University of Delhi, India, on March 10, 2014.

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  • David : Anything to add here? Another slide?
  • Subsistence systems are of special importance for African agriculture - Productivity effects of health and nutrition greatest in populations with more serious health problems - health and well-being in rural areas lag far behind that in urban areas - productivity consequences of poor health are likely to be worse in areas where hard physical labor is the critical input.  Again, this characterizes rural Africa where there is virtually no formal wage labor, and most work is directly or indirectly related to agriculture and is reliant on strength and stamina.   - adverse events, such as weather and pests, jointly have an adverse affect on income and prices of food, as well as directly on healthConceptually you need to show the causal relationships that give rise to these systems. So this will look different for each.
  • Subsistence systems are of special importance for African agriculture - Productivity effects of health and nutrition greatest in populations with more serious health problems - health and well-being in rural areas lag far behind that in urban areas - productivity consequences of poor health are likely to be worse in areas where hard physical labor is the critical input.  Again, this characterizes rural Africa where there is virtually no formal wage labor, and most work is directly or indirectly related to agriculture and is reliant on strength and stamina.   - adverse events, such as weather and pests, jointly have an adverse affect on income and prices of food, as well as directly on healthConceptually you need to show the causal relationships that give rise to these systems. So this will look different for each.
  • biofortification to breed higher levels of micronutrients directly into key staple foods. Iron beans, iron pearl millet, vitamin A cassava, OSP, zinc rice, zinc wheatNow working in 8 countries I believe (5 in Africa and 3 in Asia)
  • Ingo Potrykus (July 31, 2000 cover of TIME magazine)Bt cotton has been huge in India, but not golden rice
  • Subsistence systems are of special importance for African agriculture - Productivity effects of health and nutrition greatest in populations with more serious health problems - health and well-being in rural areas lag far behind that in urban areas - productivity consequences of poor health are likely to be worse in areas where hard physical labor is the critical input.  Again, this characterizes rural Africa where there is virtually no formal wage labor, and most work is directly or indirectly related to agriculture and is reliant on strength and stamina.   - adverse events, such as weather and pests, jointly have an adverse affect on income and prices of food, as well as directly on healthConceptually you need to show the causal relationships that give rise to these systems. So this will look different for each.
  • Subsistence systems are of special importance for African agriculture - Productivity effects of health and nutrition greatest in populations with more serious health problems - health and well-being in rural areas lag far behind that in urban areas - productivity consequences of poor health are likely to be worse in areas where hard physical labor is the critical input.  Again, this characterizes rural Africa where there is virtually no formal wage labor, and most work is directly or indirectly related to agriculture and is reliant on strength and stamina.   - adverse events, such as weather and pests, jointly have an adverse affect on income and prices of food, as well as directly on healthConceptually you need to show the causal relationships that give rise to these systems. So this will look different for each.
  • Subsistence systems are of special importance for African agriculture - Productivity effects of health and nutrition greatest in populations with more serious health problems - health and well-being in rural areas lag far behind that in urban areas - productivity consequences of poor health are likely to be worse in areas where hard physical labor is the critical input.  Again, this characterizes rural Africa where there is virtually no formal wage labor, and most work is directly or indirectly related to agriculture and is reliant on strength and stamina.   - adverse events, such as weather and pests, jointly have an adverse affect on income and prices of food, as well as directly on healthConceptually you need to show the causal relationships that give rise to these systems. So this will look different for each.
  • East and Southeast Asia has witnessed a dramatic drop in per capita rice consumption over the past four decades. Starting with Japan and Korea declining per capita rice consumption trends have cascaded throughout the region. Even South Asia has not been an exception to these trends. Data from India’s National Sample Survey shows that per capita rice and wheat consumption dropped in the last fifteen years across all income classes, except the poorest five percent of the population. Declining staple cereal consumption trends are observed among both the urban and rural populations. Are our models reflecting the right income elasticity of demand for cereals?
  • Almost fifty per cent of the developing world’s population – 2.5 billion people – lack improved sanitation facilities, and over 884 million people still use unsafe drinking water sources. Poor sanitation, water and hygiene have many other serious repercussions. Children – and particularly girls – are denied their right to education because  their schools lack private and decent sanitation facilities. Women are forced to spend large parts of their day fetching water. Poor farmers and wage earners are less productive due to illness, health systems are overwhelmed and national economies suffer.

Transcript

  • 1. Agricultural Pathways to Improved Nutrition: Getting Policies Right! Prabhu Pingali Professor of Applied Economics Director, Tata-Cornell Initiative for Agriculture & Nutrition Cornell University College of Agriculture and Life Sciences Tata-Cornell Agriculture and Nutrition Initiative (TCi)
  • 2. • Persistence of under weight births & Childhood stunting • Rising inequality in food & nutrition access • Increasing incidence of obesity • Growing food safety concerns 2TCi 2013© Global Nutritional Challenges
  • 3. 3TCi 2013© The nature and magnitude of the nutritional challenge varies by the stage of structural transformation of a country
  • 4. Structural Transformation: what is it? Four inter-related processes define structural transformation: • A declining share of agriculture in GDP and employment • A rural to urban migration that stimulates the process of urbanization • The rise of a modern industrial and service sector • A demographic transition from high to low rates of births and deaths TCi 2013© Structural transformation: what is it?
  • 5. TCi 2013© Structural Transformation is a Historical and Universal Phenomenon
  • 6. Low Productivity Agriculture Commercialized Agriculture Modernizing Agriculture 0 10 20 30 40 50 60 70 80 -1,000 4,000 9,000 14,000 19,000 24,000 29,000 34,000 39,000 44,000 49,000 54,000 Share of Agriculture (% GDP) GDP (US$ per Capita) Low Income Lower Middle Income UpperMiddle Income HighIncome 0 10 20 30 40 50 60 70 80 -1,000 4,000 9,000 14,000 19,000 24,000 29,000 34,000 39,000 44,000 49,000 54,000 GDP(US$perCapita) Share of Agriculture (% GDP) HighHumanDevelopment MediumHumanDevelopment LowHumanDevelopment TCi 2013© Structural Transformation, Human Development, and Agricultural Performance
  • 7. 7 Webb P , and Block S PNAS 2012;109:12309-12314 Structural Transformation and Nutrition
  • 8. NCDs Account for Growing Share of Total Deaths Around the World Source: Nikolic 2011 http://www.prb.org/Publications/Articles/2011/youth-and-chronic-diseases.aspx
  • 9. Under nutrition and Obesity by the Level of GDP Per Capita Source: WHO, 2006
  • 10. Map of Global Stunting
  • 11. The first 1,000 days of life… 11 ~9 months in utero ~6 months breastfeeding Early childhood Message: to impact child nutrition and safeguard cognitive and physical development, targeting women and girls during childbearing years (ages 15- 45) is essential. TCi 2013©
  • 12. 12TCi 2013© So what does agriculture have to do with it?
  • 13. 13Webb P , and Block S PNAS 2012;109:12309-12314 Effect of policy support for agriculture versus non-agriculture on the prevalence of stunting
  • 14. 14 Nutrition is multidimensional ©Tata-Cornell Agriculture and Nutrition Initiative (TCi), 2013
  • 15. 15 ©Tata-Cornell Agriculture and Nutrition Initiative (TCi), 2013 For rural households, agriculture is central to food access Agricultural policies are central for influencing: • Rural household income (food affordability) • Female labor use (agriculture vs household activities) • Regional/local food supply (productivity and food diversity) INCREASED MATERNAL HEALTH AND REDUCTION IN CHILDHOOD STUNTING TCi 2013©
  • 16. 16 ©Tata-Cornell Agriculture and Nutrition Initiative (TCi), 2013 Agriculture is only part of the equation, complementary policies are essential Complementary policies for behavior change and environmental change are essential components: • Behavior (education, women’s empowerment, etc.) • Water, sanitation, and hygiene efforts INCREASED MATERNAL HEALTH AND REDUCTION IN CHILDHOOD STUNTING
  • 17. Food system classification Characteristics Low productive systems • Little to no Green Revolution gains • Low per capita income • Low agricultural productivity • Low diet diversity • High under nutrition & micronutrient malnutrition Modernizing Systems • Green Revolution gains • Low-medium per capita income • Moderate agricultural productivity • Moderate diet diversity • Persistent micronutrient malnutrition Commercial/e xport systems • Medium-high per capita income • Higher opportunity for agricultural productivity • High diet diversity • coexistence of under nutrition and over nutrition 17 One size does not fit all… contextualizing ag-nutrition policies TCi 2013©
  • 18. 18 Vicious cycles of low productivity systems… TCi 2013© Low diet diversity High relative price of non-staples Poverty Micronutrient malnutrition Low productive staple crop systems
  • 19. 19 Low productive agriculture: policy recommendations Context-specific focus Specific policies • Cereal-based intensification strategies • Productivity-focused investments for smallholder farmers • Biofortification of staple crops • Fortification of staples • Complementary interventions • Kitchen gardens for year-round access to micronutrient-rich foods • Backyard livestock and poultry • Social safety net programs for the most vulnerable TCi 2013©
  • 20. Bio-fortification can make a difference
  • 21. But not always a success, challenges exist • Bt cotton huge in India, but golden rice not accepted
  • 22. 22 Modernizing systems and dietary change: how could the story go? TCi 2013© Income increases Increasing productivity for staples Demand for non staples increases Increases in cereal (calorie) supply and reduced cereal prices Farmers diversify into new, developing markets for micronutrient and protein-dense foods Food supply diversity increases Agriculture commercialization continues
  • 23. 23 Effective policies and market incentives must be in place to generate food supply and nutritional change TCi 2013© Income increases Increasing productivity for staples Demand for non staples increases Increases in cereal (calorie) supply and reduced cereal prices Farmers diversify into new, developing markets for micronutrient and protein-dense foods Food supply diversity increases This link depends on policy and market environment Agriculture commercialization continues
  • 24. 24TCi 2013© When policies and market incentives don’t enable farmers to meet a growing demand for non-staples, the the result is: • Limited supply of micronutrient and protein-dense foods • Impacts for dietary diversity • Sustained high relative prices of non- staples • Impacts for dietary diversity affordability • Agriculture incomes lag behind • Impacts for total food budgets All too often, poor policy and market environments halt or disable diet transformation… Demand for non staples increases Farmers diversify into new, developing markets for micronutrient and protein-dense foods This link depends on policy and market environment
  • 25. Percent Change in Monthly Per Capita Cereal Consumption in Rural and Urban India: 1993/94 and 2004/05 Source: NSSO Reports: Household Consumption Expenditure in India
  • 26. Rising GDP per capita is associated with a larger share of supermarkets in food retail 0% 20% 40% 60% 80% 100% 0 5,000 10,000 15,000 20,000 25,000 30,000 35,000 40,000 GDP per Capita, PPP, 2002 ShareofSupermarketsinFoodRetail Source: data from Traill (2006) and World Bank World Development Indicators (2006)
  • 27. Rapid Growth in Fast Food Restaurants
  • 28. 28 Modernizing Agricultural Systems: policy recommendations TCi 2013© Context-specific focus Specific policies Linking farmers to markets • Investments in infrastructure • Investments in essential institutions (credit, insurance, land rights, etc.) • Investments in public-private partnerships Strengthening demand for micronutrient and protein-rich foods • Policies that establish product standards and better trading relationships • Policies improving food safety Supporting agriculture as a business • Upgrading traditional markets and investing in informal actors
  • 29. • For poorest populations in Africa and South Asia • Health and well-being in rural areas lag far behind urban areas • Productivity effects more serious where physical labor critical input • Women are particularly vulnerable - Employment patterns: - women play a predominant role in the production of food crops ; especially in Africa. - Biological vulnerabilities: - women have special vulnerabilities related to reproductive health and they are adversely affected by health and nutrition risks. - Life responsibilities: - women have a set of unique responsibilities in the home, particularly in terms of the care of children. Role of Health and Nutrition in Agricultural Development TCi 2013©
  • 30. 30 Complementary policies Behavior change: • Education, extension Harnessing the power of women’s groups. • Nutrition messaging through women’s groups Water, sanitation, hygiene • Clean water technology development • Sanitation technologies TCi 2013©
  • 31. Nutrient Absorption and Utilization • Almost 50% of the world’s population – 2.5 billion people – lack improved sanitation facilities • Over 884 million people use unsafe drinking water sources
  • 32. 32 The continuing relevance of agriculture in all stages of development: key policy priorities Investments in enhancing of food supply • Investments in technology, research and development for productivity and nutrition enhancement • Investments in post-harvest technologies and infrastructure Agri-market investments • Investments necessary to connect farmers to markets • Policies aimed at opening up foreign direct investment in food value chains • Modernization of extension • Broadening extension to include nutrition messaging Investments in health and social environment • Investments in sanitation (toilets) and access to clean water • Empowerment of women and incentivizing women’s self-help groups Investments for food affordability and access • Relative price changes • Continuation of safety net programs that target vulnerable populations
  • 33. Thank you! Website: tci.cals.cornell.edu Blog: blogs.cornell.edu/agricultureandnutrition/ Thank you!
  • 34. 34 Key policy principles • Continuing relevance of agriculture through all stages of development – Agriculture as an engine of growth and poverty reduction – Agriculture as a supplier of dietary diversity – Agriculture as a profitable business for feeding urban populations • Investments in technology, research and development for productivity and nutrition enhancement – Post-green revolution productivity gains for neglected crops – Enhancement of nutritional traits through biofortification and food-fortification. • Investments in post-harvest technologies – Enhancing food safety and expanding market reach • Investments necessary to connect farmers to markets – Credit, input markets, infrastructure, contracts, land rights, etc. • Policies aimed at opening up foreign direct investment – Regulatory reform – Public-private partnerships • Modernization of extension – Using ICTs and leveraging community organizations – Women’s empowerment • Broadening extension to include nutrition messaging • Investments in sanitation (toilets) and access to clean water • Continuation of safety net programs that target vulnerable populations – Programs focusing on providing micronutrients for women and children • Relative price change – Poor support for course grains, legumes, lentils, etc. – Lack of attention to micronutrent dense foods