How to Scale and Sustain Access to More Nutritious Foods?

Everyone agrees that the world needs to make a fundamental shift towards building better, more nutritious and sustainable food systems.    Integrating nutrition in to the food value chain and reducing food waste is one important part of the equation, but making nutritious food more available and affordable to the most poor and vulnerable is also critical.

Despite nutrition and agriculture being inextricably linked, the two sectors have remained largely separate. Yet significant efforts and resources are now being made available to bridge the gap.   These include investments in research to develop more economically viable nutritious crop varieties,  support and incentives for farmers to grow more nutritious foods, and behaviour change communications programmes to create demand for nutritious foods.   

Yet experience is showing that agricultural production alone does not guarantee that nutritious foods reach the people that need them most. In response, a range of players are attempting to build markets that make nutritious foods more accessible, affordable and desirable to low income populations.    All these efforts are marked by a growing interest amongst the private, public and voluntary sectors to work together to find scaleable and sustainable solutions.     With much of this collaboration still at the pilot stage, there is a pressing need to draw on the evidence of what works and to progress towards more systematic and scaleable approaches.

Timed to coincide with World Food Day on 16th October, this online discussion aims to discuss how to scale up and sustain efforts to increase the supply of and demand for nutritious foods, especially amongst the world’s most vulnerable groups.

Key questions for the discussion include:

  1. Where are the greatest opportunities to integrate nutrition in to agriculture?
  2. How can we build, strengthen and scale up markets that provide nutritious foods to the people who need them most?
  3. Where are the innovations happening to support greater supply of and demand for nutritious foods, and what are we learning about what works?

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Thanks for hosting this timely discussion on World Food Day.  It would be great to get your views on the following:

  • What are the key limiters of demand for nutrition (foods and supplements) among poor and vulnerable people (in least developed countries)?
  • What is important about the role of frontline healthcare workers in supporting supply and demand for nutrition?

Thank you!

Rachael

Welcome to this online discussion on scaling and sustaining accessing to more nutritious foods!

Can I start by asking our panel to introduce themselves.

Thanks for your questions, Rachel!

Good afternoon

Clement

What do the panel think regarding work on climate smart supply chain resilience for agricultural product sourcing and ensuring good nutrition in sourcing communities dominated by the threat of mass scale mono cropping by the international food sector?

Hi everyone, I am Enock Musinguzi, Senior Agriculture-Nutrition Technical Specialist at GAIN, based in Nairobi Kenya

Good afternoon. My name is Aimee Christian and I work with Syngenta as their Head of Corporate Affairs for Vegetables and Specialty Crops. We have recently started to explore the link between agriculture and nutrition as we think there is a productive contribution we can make to improve the livelihoods of those affected with malnutrition and hidden hunger. I look forward to an interesting and lively discussion!

Welcome, Aimee!

Welcome, Enock!

Ok let's kick off with the first question:

Q1: Where are the greatest opportunities to integrate nutrition in to agriculture?

Thanks for your question, Chris.

On where the greatest opportunities to integrate nutrition into agriculture, I would like to say the following: The agricultural sector, especially in developing economies, is one of the most important sources of livelihood for the majority of the population. As such, it offers several opportunities through which agriculture can be leveraged to improve the affordability, accessibility, and consumption of nutrient-dense diverse foods along the value chain.  

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