Impacts of agriculture on nutrition: Nature of the evidence and research gaps

Webb, P. and Kennedy, E. (2014) Impacts of agriculture on nutrition: Nature of the evidence and research gaps. Food and Nutrition Bulletin,, 35 (1). pp. 126-132.

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Background. In the past decade, numerous exercises have been undertaken to document knowledge of the effects of agricultural development projects on human nutrition. Objective. The present paper reviews 10 papers published since 2000 tosynthesize current evidence of agriculture-to-nutrition linkages. Results. Although there are differences in focus, methods used, and standards of evidence across the set of papers considered, three common findings emerge. First, the empirical evidence for plausible and significant impacts of agricultural interventions on defined nutrition outcomes remains disappointingly scarce. Second, absence of evidence should not be equated with evidence of no impact. Weaknesses in study design and survey methods are all too common, leading to weak results and limited generalizability. Third, the broad domains of “agriculture’ on the one hand, and “nutritional status’ on the other, must be unpackaged in future analyses if statistically significant findings and relevant policy or program conclusions are to be drawn. Conclusions. Expectations of the potential for nutrition impact of different kinds of investment in agriculture must be set rationally, based on well-defined mechanisms and pathways. Planned and ongoing initiatives aimed at generating such evidence must hold themselves to high standards of both research and communication of findings to appropriate policy audiences globally

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: Agriculture, development programming nutritional status, research efficacy
Author Affiliation: School of Nutrition Science and Policy at Tufts University, Boston, Massachusetts, USA.
Subjects: Postharvest Management
Divisions: General
Depositing User: Mr T L Gautham
Date Deposited: 22 Apr 2016 10:42
Last Modified: 22 Apr 2016 10:42

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