Agriculture and Nutrition Synergies in CGIAR Research


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Presentation at the annual Agricultural and Applied Economics Meetings, Washington DC, August 6, 2013 in a symposium on Agricultural Development, Nutrition and Health: Synergies or Tradeoffs?

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  • CGIAR research re-organized into Coordinated Research Programs (CRP). The program on Agriculture for Nutrition and Health started in 2012 for an initial 3-year phase.
  • How does improving nutrition and health fit in the CGIAR?Nutritional and health benefits/synergies demonstrated from agricultural development, but synergies have not been systematically and rigorously assessed.A4NH is meant to coordinate and synergize work across the CGIAR for nutrition and health outcomes, building on existing efforts in biofortification, program evaluation, and food safety. It includes both policy research on how agdev can contribute to nutrition and health, and working with the crop, fish and livestock production programs on enhancing nutritional quality and food safety. Of the approx $900M in CGIAR funding in 2012, about $60M in A4NH. Of that, about half in biofortification(Harvest Plus).
  • Release of 6 biofortified varieties in the past 3 years greatly extends the reach and impact of this program. Result of nearly 20 years of capacity building and planning. Crops and nutrients chosen to address important micronutrient deficiencies in the target populations and nutrient content on released varieties targeted to provide 50 to70% of nutrient requirement for women and children.
  • Updated Copenhagen Consensus:Meenakshi et al. (2007) estimate the median cost per DALY saved asabout $10/DALY saved (optimistic scenario) and $120/DALY (pessimistic scenario).The corresponding BCR’s (Benefit:Cost Ratios) are 50:1 and 4:1 (with $1000/DALY).Targeted, cost-effective, sustainable
  • IncomeDiet quality improves through diversification, but slowly and unevenlyPricesRelative prices– eg., staples prices declining relative to more nutrient rich foodsOpportunity cost of time– eg., switch to more processed foods with urbanizationPreferences and cultural normsShape pathway towards diet diversity, eg. ASF increases with income vary widelyGiven the many market failures that can arise in nutrition, it is not surprising that improvements in diet and in nutritional outcomes do not track perfectly with development and rising incomes.
  • Total cal/day are around 2500 and 3200. Starchy staples are grains, roots, and tubers. These are 80 and 50 % of calories. Nutrient rich foods includes dairy, eggs, meats and fish, legumes and nuts. These are 10 and 32 %. Fats and sugars are unhealthy dietary diversity– 10 and 18 %.
  • TechnologiesImprovements in production, storage, handling, processing, or marketing to reduce nutritional loss, improve access, or reduce safety risks, eg. Greater seasonal availability for fruitsInformationIncreased demand for improved safety and nutrition through education or improved incentives for different actors in the value chain, eg. Nutrition education with improved vegetable seedsNutritional quality reflected in prices and/or made more affordable, eg., quality certification for locally sourced infant foodsPolicies and InstitutionsNew contractual arrangements create incentives to deliver more nutrient rich foods or to create demand for such foods, eg. Home grown school lunch programs
  • Agriculture and Nutrition Synergies in CGIAR Research

    1. 1. Examples from the CGIAR Research Program Agriculture for Nutrition and Health (A4NH) Agricultural Development, Nutrition and Health: Exploiting Synergies Presentation at the AAEA C-FARE Organized Symposium on “Agricultural Development, Nutrition and Health: Synergies or Tradeoffs?” August 6, 2013 Laurian Unnevehr Senior Research Fellow and A4NH Theme Leader IFPRI
    2. 2. CGIAR Research Agenda
    3. 3. Reframing Health-Ag Linkages • One Health– • Animals, people, environment all interact to create health conditions. • Rapid changes in human environment, animal ag lead to new disease challenges. • Nutrition and agriculture– • Beyond calorie availability and income growth • Increase emphasis on diet quality/diversity, women’s empowerment Davos GRF FAO SOFA
    4. 4. Examples of A4NH Research to Exploit Ag- Health-Nutrition Synergies • Biofortification • Aflatoxin control • Value chains for nutrition
    5. 5. 2011 Cassava Provitamin A DR Congo, Nigeria 2012 Beans Iron (Zinc) DR Congo, Rwanda 2012 Maize Provitamin A Zambia 2012 Pearl Millet Iron (Zinc) India 2013 Rice Zinc Bangladesh, India 2013 Wheat Zinc India, Pakistan Biofortification
    6. 6. Biofortification Synergies • Ex-ante analysis shows high rate of return and cost-effectiveness of biofortification – Micronutrient deficiencies have high DALY cost – Biofortification cheaper than food fortification or supplementation • Baseline and follow up surveys with roll out of biofortified varieties test ex-post– OFSP results already in • Mainstream nutrient analysis in crop breeding programs
    7. 7. A4NH Aflatoxin Research Agenda • Research scope – Health • Stunting – Technologies • Host resistance • Biocontrol • Diagnostics – Markets and Policies • Incentives • Standards • Risk analysis approach – Entire chain – Control Points – Hot spots – Benefit – cost trade off’s – Communication Supports
    8. 8. Aflatoxin Control Synergies Health Producti vity Market development Trade Improved crop husbandry, storage management leads to increases in yields and reduced aflatoxins Reduced aflatoxin levels support market development for processed foods, feeds Reduced aflatoxins mean fewer acute and chronic health effects Reduced aflatoxin levels supports expanded regional and global trade
    9. 9. Value Chains, Market Failures, and Diet Diversity • Consumer knowledge incomplete – nutrition, nutrient content/ safety of foods • Supply constraints for nutrient rich foods – perishability, seasonality, variable nutrient content, food safety • Result: Under-provision of improved nutrition and food safety
    10. 10. Inputs into production Food production Food storage and processing Food distribution and transport Food retail and labeling Value Chain Approach Consumer Producer Supply side Develop and test solutions Demand side Characterize diets, market access and constraints to consumption of nutritious, safe foods Test solutions to improve demand for nutrition and safety along the value chain Identify production and market constraints to improved nutrition and safety Example: Increased seasonal availability of fruit Example: Nutrition education delivered by vegetable seed supplier Example: Create new value chain to deliver nutritious foods to school lunches
    11. 11. Testing Value Chain Synergies • New research projects • Develop markets for high value crops – Increase income – Reduce relative prices of nutrient rich foods – Increase consumer access • Leverage market incentives to enhance nutritional outcomes from markets – Partnerships with private sector
    12. 12. Summing Up: A4NH Research to Exploit Synergies Between Agriculture and Health/Nutrition • Biofortification – Explicit attention to micronutrients in breeding is cost- effective way to address inadequate intakes • Aflatoxin control – Improved productivity, health, market development from reduced aflatoxins • Value chains for nutrition – Expanded production of high value crops supports greater diet diversity and improved incomes, market performance