Building Capacity to Address Agriculture-Nutrition Linkages through CAADP
This year, the second and third CAADP Nutrition Capacity Development workshops are scheduled to take place in Tanzania from February 25 to March 1 and in South Africa in June/July 2013. The regional workshops, the first of which took place in Senegal in November 2011, are aimed at incorporating nutrition into CAADP National Agriculture and Food Security Investment Plans.
Malnutrition continues to be an obstacle for economic growth and human well-being in many African countries. Despite a high level of commitment, many countries in Africa are not on track to achieve the nutrition-related Millennium development goals by 2015, such as halving child nutrition, reducing child mortality, and improving maternal health. An IFPRI Policy Note highlights some of the factors which inhibit the reduction of malnutrition, mainly due to a lack of political commitment. Although the importance of nutrition for economic and social development is widely recognized on a global scale, few of the national policies of individual countries reflect it as a high priority. Inadequate funding, a lack of qualified personnel to inform nutrition policy, poor recognition by decision-makers of malnutrition as a public health problem, and limited engagement of civil society groups in nutrition advocacy are all challenges in making nutrition a high national priority. Furthermore, the cross-sectoral nature of nutrition with linkages to health, agriculture, education, infrastructure, and social development complicates planning processes. Another report indicates that nutrition is not prioritized because policymakers view it as an outcome from, rather than an input into, human development.
The IFPRI 2020 conference in India and the subsequent book that was published illustrate the linkages between agriculture and nutrition. Integrating value for nutrition into the food supply chain, breeding new varieties of food crops with improved nutritional content, introducing regulations to reduce the health risks involved with agricultural production, and providing incentives for intersectoral collaboration are all opportunities to improve the agriculture-nutrition linkages.
The CAADP Nutrition Capacity Development workshops aim to address these challenges by formally integrating nutrition into CAADP framework and implementation as well as facilitating coordination among sectors. CAADP, as a continent-wide initiative aimed at guiding investments and policy formulation, provides a unique opportunity to raise the political status of nutrition across Africa. The workshops will produce country briefs summarizing the status of nutrition in each country as well as country roadmaps that outline action plans that countries will implement to address nutrition gaps. The steering committee will ensure that all actions are acted upon.
For more information on the CAADP Nutrition Capacity Development workshops, click here.