Extension and Innovation Nutrition

Making extension and advisory services nutrition-sensitive 2021

Human nutrition is vital for agriculture. Many smallholder farmers are food-insecure and suffer chronic or acute forms of malnutrition. This can permanently harm the physical and cognitive growth of children, while reducing productivity as household members are less able to carry out agricultural work.

Agriculture is vital for human nutrition. Nutrition has long been considered mostly a health issue. However, agriculture plays an essential role in ensuring nutritional wellbeing not only for rural populations, but also for society as a whole.Beyond producing food in sufficient quantity, agri-food systems should also:

  • provide diversified, safe and nutritious foods;
  • improve rural incomes and resilience, and thus enhance access to healthy diets;
  • make foods that contribute to healthy diets available and accessible at national and sub-national levels.

To this end, we must build the capacities of farmers, agriculture extensionists, consumers and others, encourage innovation, investments and enabling policies, and address gender issues. Nutrition-sensitive agriculture (NSA) uses a food-based approach to agricultural development to make the global food system produce better nutritional outcomes.