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Increasing water productivity for nutrition-sensitive agriculture and improved food security and nutrition










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    Policy brief
    Nutrition-sensitive agriculture water productivity
    Insights from field implementation
    2023
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    Good nutrition requires reliable access to safe soil and water for both food production and preparation as well as optimal sanitation and hygiene practices. Yet about one-third of the world’s population currently lives in water-stressed environments. Further, land degradation, water scarcity, flooding and less predictable rainfall patterns due to climate change are expected to undermine the productivity of smallholder farmers and exacerbate growing rates of malnutrition. Achieving Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) 2 (end hunger and all forms of malnutrition), 3 (good health and well-being), 6 (clean water and sanitation) and 15 (life on land) will therefore require interdisciplinary strategies that recognize the interconnections among these goals. Pursuant to these goals, FAO and IFAD are implementing a three-year project, “Increasing water productivity for nutrition-sensitive agriculture and improved food security and nutrition”, in six pilot countries: Mozambique, Rwanda, Niger, Benin, Egypt and Jordan. The overall objective of the project is to improve dietary quality and diversity through the agricultural production pathway by strengthening the capacities of smallholder farmers in these settings to adopt sustainable water, soil, and agronomic management practices. That is, the project aims to move beyond the traditional approach of “more nutrition per drop” to a more holistic framework of “more diverse nutrients and better economic prospects per drop”. The policy brief outlines insights from field implementation of the project in Benin, Mozambique and Niger, specifically the methodological approach, highlights from baseline surveys and next steps to ensure that the aforementioned agricultural practices lead to greater dietary quality and diversity, improvements in health, and expanded livelihoods.
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    Brochure, flyer, fact-sheet
    Improving nutrition of school age kids through nutrition-sensitive food system approach
    Near East and North Africa regional network on nutrition-sensitive agri-food - Technical Brief
    2021
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    The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) recognises that schools can make an important contribution in countries’ efforts to address food insecurity, poverty and tackle various forms of malnutrition. On top of the potential health, nutrition and education benefits with the latter being measured in terms of net enrolment rate, low dropout rates, better exam scores. Schools are ideal settings for food and nutrition programmes and services, because nutrition and education are closely linked and dietary, hygienic and exercise habits that affect nutritional status are formed during the school-age years. Many eating habits and behavioural patterns are developed during childhood and adolescent period. Schools can also be ideal for reaching large numbers of people, including youth, schools staff, families and communities. Children pass on the information that they received at school about good nutrition to their families and to the wider community. As children are widely perceived to be enthusiastic and able communicators both with their peers, families and wider community, if encouraged and appropriately informed, they can act as agents for change. As such, schools are great entry point for reaching into the community and promoting good nutrition, including proper hygiene and sanitation practices with life-long healthy habits. School food and nutrition interventions can include one or more of the following components: school gardens, school meals, school nutrition standards, school food and nutrition policies, food production linked to school food procurement, nutrition education in the school curriculum and improvements in water and sanitation, as well as other activities that contribute to improvements in school children's health and nutrition. Through all these complementary interventions pupils can improve their diets, develop healthier food practices and extend these to their families and communities.
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    Brochure, flyer, fact-sheet
    Sustainable soil management as a keystone of nutrition-sensitive agriculture in Burkina Faso 2023
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    This country factsheet highlights the importance of the relationship between soil management with nutrition aspects in Burkina Faso. The adoption of sustainable soil management practices, such as intercropping and organic matter additions, in combination with micronutrient application contributing to a better nutritional status of the population. The country fact sheet is the result of a review of scientific references and from field trials and demonstration sites developed under the Sustainable Soil Management for Nutrition-Sensitive Agriculture in Sub-Saharan Africa and Southeast Asia project, funded by the German Federal Ministry of Food and Agriculture. The project analyzed the links between soil properties and plant micronutrient content in cropping areas in Bangladesh, and tested the effectiveness of sustainable soil management practices in increasing the micronutrient content of food. A long-term plan is recommended to obtain additional information about the relationship between soil health and the quality of locally produced food. In the same way, through capacities developed locally, in rural communities, a major participation is expected.

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