Leveraging Agriculture to Improve Nutrition


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Leveraging Agriculture to Improve Nutrition

  1. 1. Leveraging Agriculture to Improve Nutrition: Challenges and Opportunities<br />Shenggen FanDirector General<br />International Food Policy Research Institute<br />SFNCC International Conference on Food and Nutrition, Beijing, Sept. 10, 2011<br />
  2. 2. Key Messages<br />Global nutrition faces many challenges. <br />2. Agriculture presents a key opportunity for improving nutrition.<br />3. Agenda for nutrition security must take advantage of the linkages between sectors. <br />
  3. 3. Global hunger remains unacceptably high <br />Number of undernourished (1969-71 to 2010)<br />Source: FAO 2010<br />
  4. 4. Asia has more than half of world’s hungry<br />Undernourishment in 2010, by region (in millions)<br />Source: FAO 2010<br />
  5. 5. Two billion+ suffer from micronutrient deficiencies<br />Iron deficiency anemia <br /> Africa and South Asia have the highest prevalence.<br /> In some parts of India, 90 percent of girls suffer from this deficiency.<br />Vitamin A deficiency<br />163 million are vitamin A deficient in developing countries. <br />44.4 percent of children in South Asia alone suffer from this deficiency.<br />Iodine deficiency<br />1.7 billion people worldwide are affected by iodine deficiency, and 1.3 billion of them are in Asia. <br />Source: UNSCN 6th Report & Bharati et al 2009<br />
  6. 6. Agriculture: Opportunity to improve nutrition<br />
  7. 7. Economic growth has significant impacts on nutrition<br />Projected reduction in child malnutrition rate with 2.5% annual growth in income per capita (1990s-2015)<br />Source: Haddad et al. 2003<br />
  8. 8. Growth impacts depend on country’s economic status<br />Proportion of undernourished (% of population)<br />Annual GDP per capita (constant 2000 US$)<br />Source: Ecker et al. 2010<br />Note: Nonlinear relationship between growth and nutrition <br />
  9. 9. Agricultural growth is crucial for nutrition in developing countries<br />Proportion of undernourished (% of population)<br />Annual agriculture value added per worker (constant 2000 US$)<br />Source: Ecker et al. 2010<br />
  10. 10. Agriculture-led growth is more pro-nutrition than non-agriculture-led growth<br />Note: Relationship exists in the long-term but not short-term<br />Source: Headey. 2010<br />
  11. 11. (Sub)Sectoral growth patterns and conditional factors matter<br /><ul><li>Agriculture is often considered as homogenous -> diversity of subsectors is ignored
  12. 12. Same growth rate could lead to different nutritional outcomes due to diverse growth patterns and conditional factors,including:
  13. 13. Smallholders vs. large farms
  14. 14. Staple vs. cash crops
  15. 15. Female- vs. male-led households
  16. 16. Less developed vs. developed regions</li></li></ul><li>Structure of agricultural growth is important for nutrition<br />Poverty-growth and calorie-growth elasticities, Tanzania (2000-07) <br />Source: Pauw and Thurlow 2010<br />
  17. 17. Conditional factors are also important (1)<br /><ul><li>Land distribution
  18. 18. Increase nutrition by providing source of income and supporting capacity to produce own food
  19. 19. China’s relative lack of landlessness and egalitarian land distribution led to positive nutritional outcomes
  20. 20. Women’s status
  21. 21. Low status linked to weak land rights, lower levels of education, and lack of access to credit and technologies
  22. 22. Improved women’s status results in greater nutritional benefit to households (different consumption priorities compared to men)</li></li></ul><li>Conditional factors are also important (2)<br /><ul><li>Rural infrastructure
  23. 23. Increased income through roads -> better links to markets
  24. 24. Better nutritional outcomes through increased access to health care and sanitation services
  25. 25. Health status
  26. 26. Ill-health impairs individual’s nutritional status (weakened immune system, low nutrient intake and absorption)
  27. 27. Health conditions influence ability to take part in productive activities that generate food/income</li></li></ul><li>Pro-nutrition growth strategies<br /><ul><li>Multisectoral nutrition often a “political, administrative, and institutional orphan”
  28. 28. Need for national and global accountability mechanisms
  29. 29. Focus on sectoral and subsectoral practices and policies that have large role in enhancing nutrition
  30. 30. Increase demand for and access to nutritious foods along entire value chain
  31. 31. Mitigate health and nutrition risks of agriculture
  32. 32. Expand research to develop nutritious varieties of staple food crops
  33. 33. e.g. Harvest Plus Challenge Program, biofortification</li></li></ul><li>Enhancing nutrition through value chains<br />Source: Ruel & Hawkes 2011<br />
  34. 34. Biofortificationtoimprovenutrition<br /><ul><li> Increases vitamin and mineral content of food staples eaten by the poor
  35. 35. Targets rural areas where (1) most poor live as subsistence or smallholder farmers, or landless laborers, and (2) lack access to supplements and fortified food products
  36. 36. Cost-effective strategy that requires </li></ul>an initial investment but then is available <br />for farmers year after year<br /><ul><li>Micronutrients are crucial for </li></ul>healthy development in young children<br />Bouis and Islam 2010<br />
  37. 37. Nutrition strategies must be country and context specific<br />China/Vietnam: Changing importance of policy instruments and investments over time<br /><ul><li>Initially, agric. growth was sharpest tool due to high poverty
  38. 38. Moved towards more targeted approach with focus on disadvantaged regions/groups
  39. 39. Recent growing challenge of overnutrition and obesity</li></ul>India: Continued need for improved nutrition through<br /><ul><li>Higher agric. growth, esp. vegetables, fruits, and dairy
  40. 40. Improved women status and rural infrastructure, including drinking water, rural roads, health clinics, and sanitation
  41. 41. Targeted nutrition interventions and social protection</li></li></ul><li>IFPRI 2020 Vision International Conference <br />10–12 February 2011 | New Delhi, India<br />
  42. 42. Conference Highlights<br />1,000 participantsfrom agriculture, health, and nutrition sectors & 65 differentcountries<br />Prime Minister Manmohan Singh of India gave inaugural address<br />150 chairs, speakers, and rapporteurs<br />30 program and side events<br />Knowledge fair: rapid-fire presentations, e-posters, videos, discussion groups<br />
  43. 43.
  44. 44. Way Forward: The Building Blocks<br />Fill Knowledge Gaps<br />Minimize Harm<br />Create a Cooperative Environment<br />Scale Up Innovative Solutions<br />
  45. 45. (1) Fill the Knowledge Gaps<br />Learn how different patterns of agric. growth affect nutrition<br /><ul><li>More program evaluation to build up a stronger evidence base about impacts of different strategies and scenarios.</li></ul>Invest in research, evaluation, education systems that are cross-sectoral<br /> Universities should encourage multi-disciplinary approaches<br />Fill gap in governance knowledge at global, national, and community levels<br /> Maximize synergies using policies, regulations and other tools of governance.<br />Promote leadership that galvanizes cross-sectoral collaboration.<br />
  46. 46. (2) Do No Harm<br />Mitigate health risks posed by agriculture along the value chain<br /><ul><li> Better monitoring and assessment of agric. development to identify health hazards and risks.
  47. 47. Improve production and processing technologies, cost-effective, risk-based technologies that are accessible to small farm holders.</li></ul>Design health and nutrition interventions that contribute to productivity of agricultural labor<br /> Examples: Home-based gardens, HIV/AIDS interventions<br />Examine downstream effects of subsidies for production or consumption on consumers’ nutrition and health<br />
  48. 48. (3) Seek Out & Scale Up Innovative Solutions<br />Scale up successful interventions<br />Learn from case studies at country and project level<br />Design agriculture, nutrition and health programs with cross-sectoral benefits<br />Incorporate nutrition into value chain for food production<br />Look for opportunities across entire value chain, from food production to post-harvest processing<br />Use all available levers for change (i.e. economic, social, science and technology, governance)<br />
  49. 49. (4) Create An Environment In Which Cooperation Can Thrive<br />Focus on cross-sectoral partnerships<br /><ul><li> Eliminate “jargon,” develop a common language</li></ul>Develop mutual accountability mechanisms<br /> Encourage transparency and openness, develop clear guidelines for stakeholder responsibility and resource allocation<br />Correct market failures<br /> Promote policies that recognize true value- both positive and negative- of different foods, health services and ag. practices.<br />Use communication and advocacy to bring about change<br />
  50. 50. “DO IT, TRY IT, FIX IT”: NEXT STEPS<br /><ul><li>Accelerate research to better shape programs and policies
  51. 51. Raise awareness and interest through communication strategies
  52. 52. Reach out to potential partners, and build links and networks</li>