Farming system for nutrition

A feasibility study of Farming System for Nutrition intervention in India

Under LANSA, the Farming System for Nutrition (FSN) study led by the M.S. Swaminathan Research Foundation (MSSRF) potentially seeks evidence on “How agricultural interventions can be pro-nutrition?”

In the context of food and nutrition security of rural India, FSN is an interventional approach that includes a combination of sustainable agricultural remedies involving advanced crop production practices, bio-fortification, promotion of backyard and community nutrition gardens of fruits and vegetables, livestock and poultry development, setting up of small-scale fisheries and regularising veterinary services as stimulant for rendering consistent output of higher income and better nutrition. The underlying hypothesis is that nutritional outcomes in a rural population improves through production and own consumption of nutrition-rich diverse diets or alternatively through higher incomes from sale of agricultural produce which is in turn used for addition or enrichment of diet with multi-nutrition-rich foods to often consumed staples.

The FSN study in underway in selected resource poor villages in two districts with high burden undernutrition, viz. Wardha in the state of Maharashtra, and Koraput in the state of Odisha. A baseline survey was undertaken in 2013-14 to identify the existing disconnect between agriculture and nutrition linkages. Subsequent discussion with farm-households and stakeholders, tailor-made FSN interventions fitting into local resource factors were proposed. A number of on-farm experimentation in multiple locations was conducted in 2013-15 under collective responsibility of farmers and researchers.

This study method helped farmers to understand and at the same time witness the superiority of proposed practices under their involvement and in farm environment. The FSN interventions are being up-scaled from 2016 to transfer the benefits of increased income, improved nutrition output per unit area and greater dietary diversity within and to more villages of both study locations. 

More information on the ongoing FSN study, see the following links:

Power point Presentation on FSN study 

LANSA Blog: Development of Farming System for Nutrition intervention (FSNi) at crop level

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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