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Open Access A comment on how the nutritional impact of agricultural innovations can be enhanced

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Abstract:

The potential of agriculture still is not sufficiently appreciated by the nutrition community. The marriage of agriculture and nutrition in developing countries has been rare and often unsuccessful. There have been compelling reasons to find relatively quick ways to reduce malnutrition without treating the underlying causes. Thus, national and international nutrition leaders have focused their attention on medically oriented approaches. To many nutrition workers, improving nutrition through food-based approaches is a good idea in theory, but it is not feasible in terms of implementation. More emphasis should be placed on programmes and policies that involve non-staple plant foods, especially fruits and vegetables. For the poor, the cost of animal and fish products is simply too high. Micronutrient-rich vegetable sources are well within their purchasing power.

Education and promotion are essential elements for successful food and nutrition interventions. Agricultural innovations will be transferred more effectively and will have enhanced nutritional impact if researchers in agriculture, food policy, and nutrition can also be change initiators and catalysts for better implementation, along with governmental agencies, non-governmental organizations, and intended beneficiaries. Education and promotion do not always reach the more disadvantaged, who are often not well integrated into community power structures, which makes it difficult for them to participate in community activities. A special intensive programme for the poor is often necessary. It is very important that all involved work towards the same goals and use a common set of indicators in achieving change. A “decision-development-dissemination” framework is proposed for enhancing the nutritional impacts of agricultural innovations.

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: December 1, 2000

More about this publication?
  • Established in 1978, the Food and Nutrition Bulletin (FNB) is a peer-reviewed journal published quarterly by the Nevin Scrimshaw International Nutrition Foundation.

    The focus of the journal is to highlight original scientific articles on nutrition research, policy analyses, and state-of-the-art summaries relating to multidisciplinary efforts to alleviate the problems of hunger and malnutrition in the developing world.

    Food and Nutrition Bulletin's 2012 Impact Factor: 2.106
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