The authors of this article begin with what seems like a basic question: Are there enough fruits and vegetables being supplied to meet nutrition recommendations? Pulling from data sources published through FAO and WHO, they estimate a 22% global supply gap (average) between what is produced and what is needed. The authors point out significant variation by country and income levels, and the need to address policy levers that can prevent widening gaps in fruit and vegetable availability.
Agriculture and Nutrition Resource Review
The Agriculture and Nutrition Resource Review is a monthly selection of materials to keep you updated on research and developments related to strengthening linkages between agriculture and nutrition. Resources from this month’s review are featured below. To see materials from earlier editions, or to view resources from across SPRING's technical areas, visit the Resource Review.
Interested in a broader perspective? You can find interesting resources from across SPRING’s technical areas in the Resource Review
The authors of this letter to Nature Climate Change link vulnerabilities in food production to climate change as well as air pollution. They also note that while these issues are understood as threats to global food security, our detailed understanding of interactions between climate and ozone pollution is limited, as are their independing effects on different crops and different regions. Their letter presents an integrated analysis of climate and ozone trends from 2000-2050.
Reports, Tools, and Other Related Materials
The authors of this paper aim to empirically infer causal linkages between fruit and vegetable production, individual intake, food security, and anemia. Qualitative research and econometric methods—including the recently-developed ‘Household Food Insecurity Access Scale’—find higher levels of hemoglobin in women in productive Ugandan households. These trends could be further supported by intensifying production.
The International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) hosted an intensive training at its Rome headquarters in July 2014, with the goal of ‘growing’ a pool of experts able to capably advise nutrition-sensitive projects – particularly around program design. Participants from around the world included agronomists, economists, nutritionists, and agricultural investment planners, among others. This short summary article from IFAD describes some of the proceedings, and highlights thoughts from training organizers and facilitators.
As both global and national development practitioners seek to benefit from multisectoral thinking, one researcher based at Stanford University (California, United States) has done the same with 18 of her academic colleagues. Her recently published book, The Evolving Sphere of Food Security weaves together expertise and perspective from medicine, political science, engineering, law, economics, and climate science—all aimed towards an inclusive understanding of the evolving challenges around food security.
Every year, the planet loses nearly a third of its food—a staggering 1.4 billion tons. That’s according to a 2011 United Nations study that assessed food networks in 152 countries. This infographic reveals where in the food-supply chain farmers, engineers, and consumers might more effectively get comestibles into mouths.
IFPRI organized a 3-day conference focused on resilience and nutrition security, as part of its “2020 Vision Initiative”. Discussion between participants revolved around emerging shocks, tools for resilience, knowledge gaps, and global priorities for progress. A short video is available that highlights speakers from the conference who represent government, the private sector, international NGOs, and other global stakeholders.
Online Community Corner
On July 30th, 2014, SPRING hosted the Ag2Nut Community of Practice's monthly call featuring two presentations; one on the Ugandan Food Trade System and the other on a New Dietary Diversity Score. Terri Ballard, a member of the core Women's Dietary Diversity Project team and part of the Statistics Division at FAO, shared outcomes from a mid-July meeting in Washington, DC, where she presented "Reaching Consensus on a Global Dietary Diversity Indicator for Women." Timothy Sparkman, Chief of Party at Mercy Corps Uganda, presented recent work on mapping the food trade network in the Karamoja region of north-eastern Uganda, which has helped identify leverage points for pro-poor market development. The webinar recording, notes and presentations are available on the SPRING website.
Check out the early August update from the WASHplus community, with a special eye towards hand washing—increasingly discussed as a practical household behavior linked to good nutritional and health status. A range of research articles and reports are available, along with a twice-yearly literature review (peer-reviewed and grey) from the Partnership for Handwashing.
Following on to the TOPS/FSN Network Knowledge Sharing Meeting in July 2014, the TOPS Program has posted several questions to the online discussion forum of the FSN Network Portal in an effort to open up the conversation to all implementers of FFP-funded projects. Of particular interest is one discussion that centers around the concept of utilization and nutrition security. Join the conversation and share your thoughts with FFP through the FSN Network Portal by Friday, September 5.
The Second International Conference on Nutrition (ICN2) is set to be held November 19-21, 2014 in Rome, with representation from a range of country governments, international organizations, and other high-level actors. Leading up to this major event, the ICN2 organizers have released a draft Declaration and an accompanying Framework for Action to help guide dialogue. Comments on the Framework were gathered through the Global Forum, and are available for review at the link below.
A Look Back
In this 17-page book chapter written in 1985, the author reviews shifts in developing countries away from subsistence food production and towards agricultural commodites for sale. He explores big-picture effects on overall food availability and the impact of food imports or food aid, but also comments on intra-houshold decision-making and the time-use of individual family members. Many of these same conversations continue today--in particular, the variable impact of increased income on household nutrition.