Agriculture, Food Systems, and Nutrition: Meeting the Challenge

Malnutrition is a global challenge with huge social and economic costs; nearly every country faces a public health challenge, whether from undernutrition, overweight/obesity, and/or micronutrient deficiencies. 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.

This paper reviews the theory and recent qualitative evidence (particularly from 2010 to 2016) in the public health and nutrition literature, on the role that agriculture plays in improving nutrition, how food systems are changing rapidly due to globalization, trade liberalization, and urbanization, and the implications this has for nutrition globally.

The paper ends by summarizing recommendations that emerge from this research related to (i) knowledge, evidence, and communications, (ii) politics, governance, and policy, and (iii) capacity, leadership, and financing.

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South Asia Focus

Funded by UK DFID

This research has been funded by the UK Government’s Department for International Development; however the views expressed do not necessarily reflect the UK Government’s official policies

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