Bridging the gap between agriculture and nutrition

An Afghan farmer and teacher. A report commissioned by the U.K. Department for International Development identifies “poorly researched areas” on agriculture for nutrition. Photo by: David Gill / Development Pictures / CC BY-NC-ND

A new report is calling for better methodologies and metrics, a wider range of targeted groups, and broader involvement of research organizations to better understand the link between agriculture and nutrition.

The recommendations stem from a review of 151 research projects on agriculture for nutrition, from which researchers from the Leverhulme Centre for Integrative Research on Agriculture and Health have identified “poorly researched areas.” These include:

  • Effects of agricultural policies on nutrition.

  • “Indirect effect” of agricultural changes on nutrition.

  • Cost-effectiveness.

The report, commissioned by the U.K. Department for International Development, bolsters the United Kingdom’s fight against malnutrition. Just a few weeks ago, the European nation hosted a hunger summit that garnered several commitments to end malnutrition.

The focus on research as a key step to combat hunger and malnutrition is nothing new. Bill Gates, for one, has been advocating for more money to be spent on agriculture research. And while the goal is to boost farmers’ income and production, enhancing productivity could solve food scarcity and, potentially, end malnutrition.

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About the author

  • Ravelo jennylei

    Jenny Lei Ravelo

    Jenny Lei Ravelo is a Devex Senior Reporter based in Manila. She covers global health, with a particular focus on the World Health Organization, and other development and humanitarian aid trends in Asia Pacific. Prior to Devex, she wrote for ABS-CBN, one of the largest broadcasting networks in the Philippines, and was a copy editor for various international scientific journals. She received her journalism degree from the University of Santo Tomas.