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Bio Fortification Conference 2010 Oct 28 Lawrence Haddad

Bio Fortification Conference 2010 Oct 28 Lawrence Haddad

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Published by: lawrencehaddad on Nov 11, 2010
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From Harvest Plus to Harvest Driven:How to Realise the Elusive Potential of Agriculture for Nutrition?
Lawrence Haddad
 Institute of Development StudiesUKOctober 28, 2010The potential for agriculture to accelerate improvements in nutrition is large. The standardpathways are well known, but are they being accessed and are new pathways beingcreated? This short discussion piece touches on three questions: First, what are thepathways between agriculture and nutrition? Second, is the potential being realised? Third,what can be done to increase the realisation of the potential connections? The paperconcludes by arguing that we need to move from the era of thinking of improved nutritionas an optional extra for agriculture to one where improved nutrition status of thepopulation is driven by agriculture as its main reason for being. Agriculture has never andwill never be the only or even the main driver of nutrition. First, agriculture is not the onlyinstrument or sector delivering food and incomeother sectors provide key wealth creationopportunities and social protection programmes are vital where markets are weak. Second,food and income are not the only drivers of nutrition status: care, water and sanitationquality, health services and the status of women are equally vital drivers. But nutritionshould be the main driver of agriculture. What else is agriculture for?
hat are the pathways between agriculture and nutrition?
The standard pathways are well known (World Bank 2007, Haddad 2000):(a)
Greater farm productivity leads to greater farm income which can generate economy-wide income growth. We know that income growth does improve dietary diversity butthat in terms of anthropometry of infants (a key nutrition outcome) it is a ratherunderpowered and hit and miss driver.(b)
Lower food prices as supply and efficiency of production increase. Lower food pricesgenerate de facto income increases and lead to improvements in nutrition as in link (a).If the price declines are in fruits and vegetables and fish/livestock/dairy, then there willbe additional nutrition impacts as the prices of key micronutrients decline.(c)
More nutritious production for own consumption. We also know that there is not acomplete separation of what is eaten from what is grown. If on farm income generationis more geared towards high nutrition value crops then we can assume more of thesewill be consumed from own production.
My thanks to Howdy Bouis who 25 years after being my PhD adviser is still giving me excellent comments onpapers. All errors (as in 1985) are mine.
As (c), but with more general consumption effects. Biofortification comes in stronglyhere as a way of potentially increasing the supply of key micronutrients withoutcompromising (and even possibly increasing) the supply of macronutrients.(e)
Empowering women to enhance nutrition impacts of (a)(d). Greater control by womenat all stages in the agriculture-nutrition chain will tend to reflect their preferences andpriorities more and this tends to enhance nutrition outcomes.What are the key policy levers?In terms of generating poverty reduction we know the work of Fan and others (e.g. Fan andZhang 2008) that agricultural research, development and investment is important, but wedont know enough about how the portfolio in terms of crops and attributes affects diet andnutrition. We also know that investment in agricultural infrastructure is vital for povertyreduction, but which types are most potent for nutrition and when: irrigation, processingfacilities, cold chains, or communications? We know that there is a gap betweenmicrofinance and the formal banking system when it comes to small enterprises such asfarms, but how important is this finance gap for smoothing consumption across shocks?There is a lot we dont know about the choices we make in agricultural research,development and investment and the impacts they have on nutrition.In terms of influencing demand for certain types of foods and nutrients and how well theyare utilized, we have nutrition knowledge campaigns which are shown to be effective whenin combination with other non-nutrition interventions (Leroy et. al. 2009). We know thatempowering women via political quotas, via enhancing asset and income control and interms of legislation that enhances their agency, if it enhances their own nutrition status, willon average be good for family nutrition (Birner et al. 2010).In terms of influencing the supply of certain types of foods and nutrients biofortificationseems promising (HarvestPlus Orange Flesh Sweet Potato in Uganda and Mozambique 2010)although we should not globalise about its cost effectiveness in all contexts and for all crops.A national Homestead Food Production (Ianotti et. al. 2009) programme in Bangladesh hasconvincing evidence of impact on household production, improved diet quality, and intakeof micronutrient-rich foods, although its contribution to reducing the prevalence of deficiencies in vitamin A, iron or zinc has yet to be determined.But how do we make sure these multiple pathways are actually travelled?
Is this potential being realised?
learly the potential is there. Is it being realised? For several reasons, this is a difficultquestion to answer.First, the impact evaluations of agriculture that are outcome focused at the humanwellbeing level, let alone nutrition focused, are hard to find. The
GIARs own StandingPanel on Impact Assessment (SPIA) lists impact evaluations done throughout the
Table 1 shows that out of the 761 listed by the
GIAR as having been published from 1995-2008, only 83 listed impact focusing on welfare indicators such as income ornutrition/health status.
able 1: CGIAR Impact Assessment Studies
Impact evaluations focusingon income as an outcomevariableImpact evaluations focusingon (income ornutrition/health) as anoutcome variableAll ImpactEvaluations2008 0 02007 1 22006 4 42005 0 02004 4 52003 5 6Total 1995-2008 67 83 761
As of August 2009http://impact.cgiar.org/ Neither the Poverty Action Lab (J-PAL) nor the International Initiative on Impact Evaluation(3ie) have undertaken or commissioned many agricultural project impact studies. As of mid2009 the project database search at the Poverty Action Lab website shows 25 healthevaluations, 38 in education, only 5 in agriculture (and these are all in Kenya)
. And only 2of 18 funded applications in round 1 of 3ie (the International Institute for Impact Evaluation)funding were awarded to agriculture projects (irrigation, low cost farm equipment)compared to 6 in health. Presumably this reflected some combination of low submissions(perhaps due to the size of funding chunks available) and lack of quality of submissions
.Second, the aggregate data on the impacts between agricultural growth and income ornutrition are inconclusive.
ross-country econometric work (Ligon and Sadoulet, 2008)reported in the 2008 World Development Report shows that a 1% gain in GDP originating inagriculture generates a 6 % increase in overall income for the poorest 10% of thepopulation. This compares with a 4% increase in overall income for the next poorest, and 3%for the subsequent decile. In stark contrast, GDP growth originating in non-agriculturesectors generates zero growth for the poorest 10% of the population, a 1% increase inincome for the next 10% and a 2% increase thereafter. A more recent empirical study by
hristiansen et al. (2010) comes to similar conclusions. Using cross country econometricevidence they report Irrespective of the setting, a one percent increase in agricultural percapita GDP was found to reduce the total $1-day poverty gap squared by at least 5 timesmore than a one percent increase in GDP per capita outside agriculturep 30. For a large setof countries within a cross-country regression framework, Loayza and Raddatz (2009) foundthat growth in labour intensive sectors was the most poverty reducing.
ross-countryregressions simply represent average associations between variables. It is useful to contrasttheir results with careful large country time series studies. IFor Brazil Ferreira et. al. (2006)found that growth in the service industries was the most poverty reducing for the 1985-2004 period. For India, Datt and Ravallion (2010) found that pre-1991, rural growth wasmore poverty reducing than urban growth, but for the post 1991 period the reverse heldtrue.

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