Nutrition is a multisectoral problem; current state of empirical evidence for agricultural interventions’ impacts on nutrition is weak. In the past 10 years, both agriculture and nutrition have risen on the global policy agenda. Several recent international movements have created great momentum for nutrition among global political leaders and policymakers. The 2008 world food price crisis prompted larger investment pledges to agricultural development.
The U.S. Government launched the Feed the Future initiative in 2009 to address global hunger and food security, with a primary goal to reduce poverty and undernutrition by simultaneously promoting inclusive agriculture sector growth and improved nutritional status for women and children. With operations in 19 focus countries, Feed the Future provides an important laboratory of learning where efforts can be effective and, once proven, taken to scale to make agriculture work for nutrition.
The Strengthening Partnerships, Results, and Innovations in Nutrition Globally (SPRING) project has been conducting a series of research on the Feed the Future initiative. This chapter will first provide a review of the nutrition narrative in relation to food and nutrition, introduce the current understanding of linkages between agriculture and nutrition and the Feed the Future initiative's efforts to strengthen the nutritional impact of agricultural and economic growth activities, and describe an extensive review of how the design and early implementation of Feed the Future activities linked agriculture and nutrition. Finally, the chapter presents an updated framework that incorporates ways to improve nutrition outcomes of agricultural programming in the broader context of food system.