Nutrition sensitive value chains: Theory, progress, and open questions
This article in the journal Global Food Security takes a consumer focus on the value chains to consider the types of interventions that could lead to improved intakes of micronutrient-rich foods. Additionally, it reviews the present literature on the types of value chain assessments, interventions, and initiatives that are attempting to improve nutrition as well as potential future directions. For food systems to deliver more nutritious food to populations, value chains for micronutrient-rich foods must be improved, making such foods more available and affordable to consumers. The authors present a simple model to illustrate how the triple burden of malnutrition arises and argue that agricultural value chains are potentially an important tool to reduce all three forms of malnutrition. From the consumer perspective, three classes of interventions are described fitting the simple model, and how they might act to reduce malnutrition: 1) interventions that change consumer information or behavior; 2) interventions that increase consumer demand through changing the relative prices for nutritious foods; and 3) interventions or innovations that could reduce transaction costs or risks to producers, allowing them to increase profits without necessarily reducing producer prices or increasing consumer prices. Given the number of interventions that have recently been implemented, more will soon be learned about the potential for agricultural value chain interventions to affect nutrition.