Research Brief #4: Impacts of Agriculture on Nutrition: Nature of the Evidence and Research Gaps

In the last few years, there has been a proliferation of interest in how to leverage agriculture to maximize its impacts on nutrition, particularly among mothers and children (USAID 2011; Herforth 2012). The belief that ?agriculture contributes not just to food production, but also to human nutrition and health? (IFPRI 2012) is widely held, and it underpins ongoing efforts globally to ?make agricultural policies and programs nutrition-sensitive.?(BMGF 2012) However, the search for solid empirical findings of ?what works? in this arena has been stepped up as donors and national governments increasingly call for ?evidence-informed policymaking? against a backdrop of demands for greater accountability, fiscal austerity and enhanced credibility (Mallet et al. 2012). This research brief synthesizes the results of 10 reviews conducted since 2000 to: a) highlight their major conclusions; and b) reflect on the implications of those conclusions for planned and future research.

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