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2 nutrition scr Document Transcript

  • 1. Young school children in rural India eating millet chappatis with rice and vegetable curry. Ensuring nutritional security BIG IDEAS in rural communities M alnutrition has been declared as the greatest single threat to the world’s public health by UN’s Standing Committee on Nutrition. Smallholder agriculture can play a strong role in reducing malnutrition in resource-poor rural communities, through a broader partnership with the health, nutrition and education sectors. We recommend integrating nutrition and agriculture developments and working from both the demand and supply side. We need to mainstream nutrition into agricultural development. We can do this by: A. Growing nutri-resilient crops – crops that are highly nutritious as well as better able to cope with drought and poor soil. B. Incorporating nutrition needs along the whole agricultural value chain. C. Cross-sectoral partnering forged with agriculture, health and education sectors. Science with a human face www.icrisat.org November 2013
  • 2. The problem and opportunity According to the UN World Food Program, more than 900 million people in the world do not get the right or nutritious food to eat. Engaging the right partners across agriculture, health and education is essential to ensure a sustainable impact on nutrition. Taking a holistic approach to mainstreaming nutrition will require multiple approaches, ensuring the availability of nutritious food through to the demand for more nutritious food. ICRISAT can work with the public and private sectors and be the independent catalyst to make this happen. About 50% of child deaths under the age of five in developing countries are linked to undernutrition. Malnutrition at an early age may lead to reduced physical and mental development and also limits capacity to learn. Past agricultural advancement that has focused on the quantity of food are often blamed for malnutrition. Let’s start in the rural areas – of the 3 billion people that live in rural areas (nearly half of the humanity), about 2.5 billion are involved in agriculture and 1.5 billion (half of the rural area population) are resource-poor smallholder farmers. The solution A. B. Grow nutri-resilient crops – crops that are highly nutritious as well as better able to cope with drought and poor soil. Identifying and focusing on nutri-resilient crops of the future is an important component. Incorporate nutrition needs along the whole agricultural value chain. ▪▪ ▪▪ ▪▪ ▪▪ ▪▪ ▪▪ ▪▪ ▪▪ C. 2 Biofortification – breeding micronutrientrich crop varieties – using a combination of conventional, genomics and molecular breeding. Seed production and delivery systems for dissemination to improve farmers’ knowledge or access to seeds of improved varieties. On-farm crop and livestock diversity. Crop management interventions to improve grain micronutrient concentration. Addressing major food safety issues such as: ₋₋ incorporate resistance to aflatoxins in groundnut breeding program ₋₋ introduce on-farm and storage practices that reduce the risk of aflatoxin infections ₋₋ introduce to farmers, simple costeffective aflatoxin testing kits. The approach Key to the success includes the following: ▪▪ Participatory approach – involving stakeholders and beneficiaries, including women, in the research ensuring they are helping identify the needs and direct the research priorities. ▪▪ Capacity building – working alongside the national system to build local capacity and ensure that initiatives are sustainable. ▪▪ Integrating communications – to build awareness and share knowledge along the whole value chain. ▪▪ Empowering women – past successes in agricultural research for development have shown the critical need to ensure women are involved in programs and empowered to take action. Nutritional programs in particular will require women’s inputs to provide direction as well as empowering them to act on the recommendations. Methods to achieve this will be important to apply at all stages of the value chain. ▪▪ Monitoring and evaluation – is important at all stages of the work to ensure inputs to continually direct the research and adoption efforts. Involvement Reduce malnutrition through agricultural research and development to stimulate the whole value chain – from developing, growing, and value addition. addition of nutri-resilient crops; biofortification, breeding and disseminating micronutrient-rich crop varieties; and partnering with stakeholders to mainstream health, agriculture, nutrition education, and women empowerment. security. Contacts nutritious foods. CLL Gowda, Deputy Director General-Research, E-mail: c.gowda@cgiar.org Post-harvest processing and value Influencing policy to support nutrition Educating and building demand for Cross-sectoral partnerships forged with agriculture, health and education sectors. A concept note for Ensuring nutritional security in rural India Joanna Kane-Potaka, Director, Strategic Marketing and Communication, E-mail: j.kane-potaka@cgiar.org