Not just food: For southern Africa to succeed, think nutrition
This blog on the Thomson Reuters Foundation News website discusses the importance of food systems and collaborative solutions for improving nutrition. There has been recognition by the Mozambican government that nutrition matters, but the challenge is primarily one of implementation. The author believes there are at least two factors which are critically important here. The focus must shift from feeding people to nourishing them. In doing so, the power of the public and private sectors, and civil society should be harnessed to encourage and enable consumers to access better diets. It is imperative therefore that policy makers pay more attention to food systems if nutrition planning is to be effectively implemented. Food systems encompass all the stages from food production to consumption. The second factor also concerns policy action. Much more attention needs to be given to the question of how to incentivize local authorities to give high priority to enabling their populations to access affordable, nutritious food. A food systems approach to identifying and addressing local diet gaps is key. Developing local capacity and providing tools to help identify local solutions must be part of the picture. Governments alone cannot deliver healthy diets for all. Improving food systems across Africa will require government, civil society and private sector collaboration, coordinating actions across trade, education, health, agriculture, social protection, and water and sanitation.