Nutrition sensitive value chains: Theory, progress, and open questions
This paper (PDF) in the Global Food Security journal takes a consumer focus on value chains to consider the types of interventions that could lead to improved intakes of micronutrient-rich foods, and reviews the present literature on the types of value chain assessments, interventions, and initiatives that are attempting to improve nutrition as well as develop potential future directions. A number of conclusions and recommendations have resulted from this research. To begin with, more evidence effectiveness of behaviour change communication programs linked to agricultural and value chain interventions is required. Furthermore, improving the labeling of all packaged foods in developing countries could improve information regarding food choices. Moreover, interventions that can lower transaction costs such as improved cold chain technology could quickly change farmer incentives, making it possible to grow more fruits and vegetables that would otherwise spoil en route to market. To ensure that value chain interventions have sustainable impacts on nutrition outcomes, interventions must engage with the private sector throughout, ranging from multinationals to individuals. Finally, an increased commitment to collect indicators appropriate to measure food security and nutrition is critical. Without data on malnutrition in all its forms, it is impossible to understand progress that is being made to reduce malnutrition and the gaps that still exist. Being able to demonstrate impact on indicators of both food security and nutrition will be important to engage with the private sector. With strengthened public-private partnerships as a result and more informed, longer-term interventions being incorporated in national or regional policies.