Agriculture, food systems, and nutrition: Meeting the challenge
This article (PDF) in the Global Challenges Journal reviews the role agriculture plays in improving nutrition and the implications of changing food systems due to globalization, trade liberalization, and urbanization, for nutrition globally. Malnutrition is a multisectoral, multi-level problem that results from the complex interplay between household and individual decision-making, agri-food, health, and environmental systems that determine access to services and resources, and related policy processes. The TANDI framework, described in the paper, conceptualizes pathways and links between agricultural livelihoods and nutrition outcomes. The paper shows evidence for an agriculture-nutrition disconnect. There is still limited evidence that agricultural interventions are beneﬁting nutrition or that agricultural growth consistently leads to nutritional improvements. Next to this disconnect, obesity is now epidemic in many countries, which requires the scope to be broadened to food systems at large, going well beyond agriculture. In these countries there is a need to regulate ultra-processed foods and to reduce consumers’ sugar and salt consumption. Leveraging agri-food systems for nutrition implies (a) creating and strengthening institutional and policy environments, including knowledge and accountability systems, that enable agriculture and food systems to support nutrition goals, (b) making agricultural programs and food system interventions more nutrition-sensitive and therefore more effective in improving nutrition and health, and (c) developing capacity and leadership to use and demand appropriate evidence to improve decision-making to this end.