FAO launches a manual to guide nutrition-sensitive programming in agriculture
In November 2015, the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) launched a new manual titled “Designing nutrition-sensitive agriculture investments. Checklist and guidance for programme formulation”. The manual is designed to guide programme planners in the design of nutrition-sensitive programmes.
Increasingly, institutions investing in food systems have committed themselves to ensuring their investments are “nutrition-sensitive”, but many professionals from the food and agriculture sector seek guidance on what this entails in terms of programme design and implementation.
In November 2014, during the Second International Conference on Nutrition (ICN2), FAO and World Health Organisation (WHO) Member States reaffirmed their commitment to combat all forms of malnutrition through the adoption of the Rome Declaration on Nutrition and its Framework for Action. The ICN2 Framework for Action emphasizes the importance of “reviewing national policies and investments and integrating nutrition objectives into food and agriculture policy, programme design and implementation”.
That is why FAO, in consultation with civil society, governments, donors, UN agencies, and particularly the Agriculture to Nutrition Community of Practice (Ag2Nut), has developed a set of 10 Key Recommendations for Improving Nutrition through Agriculture. The manual is designed to serve as a tool to guide programme planners who are aiming to apply these recommendations in the design of agricultural investments and programmes.
The manual has been developed with the notion that the strategies that will enable an agriculture investment to be “nutrition-sensitive” are context-specific and require continuous revision. The checklist does not, therefore, provide “answers” but questions and tips, which can guide practitioners in finding the most locally appropriate solutions to complex challenges. Tips are primarily sourced from the “Synthesis of Guiding Principles on Agriculture Programming for Nutrition” (FAO, 2013).
Complementary FAO publications
This manual will be complemented by two other FAO publications to be published early 2016
- The Compendium of Food and Agriculture Actions for Nutrition: This compendium will provide a list of interventions related to crop production, horticulture, livestock, fisheries, food processing, forestry and nutrition promotion, which can contribute to improving nutrition as part of a multi-sectoral strategy.
- The Compendium of Indicators for Nutrition-Sensitive Agriculture: This document will describe a range of indicators, which can be used to monitor and evaluate the nutrition-related impacts of investments in agriculture and rural development.