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