By Stuart GillespieDespite rapid economic growth, undernutrition rates in South Asia remain among the highest in the world. Ensuring nutrition security in the region can only occur through a combination of nutrition-specific interventions and more distal ‘nutrition-sensitive” interventions and approaches, such as broad based agricultural growth. The key conceptual linkages and pathways between agriculture and nutrition are well known. Given that agriculture remains the primary source of livelihood of half of the region’s population, it has the potential to be a strong driver of nutrition in South Asia.
But recent evidence points to an apparent disconnect. Agricultural growth, which itself is slowing, is simply not doing enough for nutrition. Against this backdrop, the newly launched Leveraging Agriculture for Nutrition in South Asia (LANSA) research programme seeks to address the core question: “How can South Asian agriculture and related food policies and interventions be designed and implemented to increase their impacts on nutrition, especially the nutritional status of children and adolescent girls?”
|copyright Stuart Gillespie|
Aligned with the fundamental, underlying and immediate determinants of undernutrition, the three research streams will address several key questions. First, how can agriculture and food policies be more strongly linked to other underlying determinants of nutrition such as women's status, poverty induced food insecurity and sanitation? Second, how can we make agricultural growth strategies, broad policies in areas such as food storage and trade, and public-private engagement more likely to reduce undernutrition? Third, how can agricultural interventions be designed to improve diet quality and improve nutrition directly, whilst ensuring livelihood security?
For more information please see the LANSA project page.
This blog post first appeared on SecureNutrition's blog.