In recent years, there has been an increasing interest among international development professionals in strengthening linkages between agriculture and nutrition in the communities where we work. It is after all logical that agriculture and nutrition have a lot of potential to influence each other – agriculture providing the foods that can improve nutrition, and nutrition supporting agriculture labor by providing the energy and health farmers need to maximize productivity. However, exactly what these “linkages” look like from the perspective of daily project implementation has not been clear.
While the development community continues to research best practices and potential results we can expect from linked nutrition and agriculture programming, Mercy Corps offers a step-by-step guidance to enable market-focused agriculture programs around the world to adopt increased nutrition-sensitivity.
The guidance is designed for non-nutrition specialists. It helps agriculturalists avoid unintentionally harming the nutritional status of target households and boost nutrition whenever possible. It includes:
· An introduction to nutrition;
· A step-by-step decision tree to guide the design and implementation of nutrition-sensitive agriculture activities; and
· An assortment of annexes for additional background and practical tools for assessing the nutritional context, implementing specific approaches, selecting appropriate value chains and undertaking monitoring and evaluation.