Bridging disconnects

Where, to what extent, and how, can the major disconnects between agriculture and nutrition in South Asia be bridged through non-agricultural interventions?


Photo credit: World Bank

For the agriculture-nutrition pathways identified by the landscape analyses  to take root, the structural connections between agriculture and nutrition need to be addressed. The main purpose of this research sub-theme is to identify key connections between agriculture and nutrition, and propose ways of bridging them. This extends the methods developed under the “Tackling the Agriculture-Nutrition Disconnect in India” (TANDI) programme and applies them to Bangladesh and Pakistan. TANDI analysed different agriculture-nutrition pathways. These pathways include links between:

  • Income from agriculture and nutritional outcomes;
  • Household agricultural production and diets; and
  • Women’s work and child nutrition outcomes.

TANDI identified several disconnects relating to structures, policies, programmes and data in India. TANDI also used macroeconomic work to understand stylised relationships between economic growth and nutrition. TANDI briefly considered how problems in other sectors might also influence nutrition outcomes and agriculture-nutrition linkages specifically.

LANSA is broadly replicating TANDI-type analyses for other South Asian countries. We are looking for greater depth in analysing the links between agriculture and other potentially pro-nutrition sectors, such as health, infrastructure, education and family planning. By developing broadly similar studies of different South Asian countries LANSA can establish to what extent similar structural relationships exist across countries, and to what extent there are inter and intra-country differences. This type of comparative analysis will support both cross-country learning and provide a platform for promising regional approaches. This work stream will also inform LANSA’s research on agriculture and food policies, strategies and systems under the research theme concerned with agri-food policies and markets.

Key studies in this work stream include:

  • Landscaping of nutrition programmes in the context of agricultural livelihoods in Bangladesh;
  • Identifying and characterising agricultural innovation systems across the region that could easily converge on nutrition;
  • Identifying the links between income generating activities and nutrition outcomes for young children in rural Bangladesh;
  • Identifying the effects of the composition of agricultural income and non-food environment on household food consumption, across the region;
  • Identifying the relative roles of the agriculture sector and other variables in determining child nutrition outcomes in India;
  • Identifying pathways that link nutritional impacts with agricultural performance, women’s empowerment and other enabling factors in Indian districts;
  • Assessing links between women’s empowerment in agriculture and nutrition outcomes in Nepal;
  • Assessing the impact of social protection to optimise the nutrition impact of women’s work in agriculture in Pakistan;
  • Assessing the temporal and seasonal effects of unfavourable/fragile environments on agricultural productivity, household income, and food and nutrition security in Bangladesh;
  • A study to assess dynamic associations between change in women’s power and child nutrition in Bangladesh;
  • A study in Pakistan to examine how access to land and corresponding labour arrangements influence the role of South Asian agriculture in improving nutrition. Also how do policy interventions with respect to land access enhance agriculture’s contribution to nutrition;
  • Using available data from Afghanistan (such as the recent Living Standards Measurement Survey) LANSA will identify whether the nutritional components have sufficient depth to warrant a full analysis. 

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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