Farming System for Improved Nutrition

A formative study to understand nutrition-sensitive farming approaches in Bangladesh

Photo credit: S Mojumder/Drik/CIMMYT

Literature on nutrition accord immense importance on agriculture interventions to achieve better nutrition. Little is understood how the interventions can be delivered to suit the needs of the community and to ensure utmost effectiveness. In this context BRAC conducted a formative study on nutrition sensitive farming approaches.

The objective of the study was to understand the perceptions and needs of local farming communities to promote their farming systems for better nutrition and the way of addressing their needs particularly in context of Bangladesh.

An explorative study was conducted over a four week period in seven Upazillas from six districts in Bangladesh, selected purposively considering the geographical diversity and presence of BRAC intervention on agriculture credit and nutrition. Focus group discussions, in-depth interviews with programme personnel and programme beneficiaries were done to collect the necessary information. Analysis of the interview notes were facilitated manually by organising the data into a matrix with different topics in alignment with the research objectives.

The key findings of the study indicated that the context of the farming in rural Bangladesh is quite diverse with huge potential for improving nutrition. However, the villagers don’t calculate the nutritional benefits of agriculture because they don’t assess agriculture from nutrition lens. They do farming considering the food safety and conceptualised nutrition more from the health perspective. They were interested to improve their knowledge gap and opined on the diverse options of delivering interventions in relevance to their context. The study concludes that Pilot testing of interventions based on the feedback of the community is required to define a feasible intervention model in promoting agriculture for nutrition in Bangladesh.

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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