Improving nutritional outcomes in agriculture intervention

22 October 2015. Brussels. Lunch-time conference: Improving nutritional outcomes in agriculture interventions.

Agricultural interventions (from local projects to large scale policies) are usually regarded as positive or neutral toward human nutrition.

Drawing lessons from 170 studies and an expert consultation, a CIRAD/ACF team identified six pathways from successful agricultural interventions to negative nutrition outcomes, and suggested recommendations to avoid them.

  • Introduction: Mr. Jean-Pierre Halkin Head of Unit DEVCO C1, Rural Development, Food Security, Nutrition 
  • Presentation: Dr. Sandrine Dury Economist, Moisa Research Unit, CIRAD 
Extract:

Risks linked to aflatoxin in maize-groundnut systems In tropical zones, where the diet is largely maize and groundnut dependent, chronic exposure of the population to aflatoxin is massive. It involves 85 to 100% of children in African countries of the Gulf of Guinea (Khlangwiset et al., 2011). Many studies have shown a link between chronic malnutrition and the exposure of unborn children to aflatoxin, or subsequently through breast feeding or weaning foods. The biochemical mechanism involved remains to be identified, but the strong and regular links observed between the level of exposure to aflatoxins and the prevalence of chronic malnutrition argues in favour of a direct causality (Gong et al., 2003 and 2004). Contamination occurs right from the field, before the grains mature, amplified by drought and heat, then after grain ripening, favoured by moisture in the fields, and during drying, storage and transport (Zakhia-Rozis and Schorr-Galindo, 2013) What risks do agricultural interventions entail for nutrition (page 6)

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