Institute of Economic Growth, Delhi, India: Making Agriculture Work for Nutrition

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Published on March 12, 2014

Author: K_Ricketts

Source: slideshare.net

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The past 50 years have been a period of extraordinary food crop productivity and growth. Despite these massive gains in productivity and agricultural development, malnutrition has persisted across certain regions of the developing world. In India, these challenges, which range from micronutrient malnutrition and the emergence of over-nutrition, have created a challenging landscape of health and human nutrition. Despite exceptional economic growth, high rates of childhood stunting and micronutrient malnutrition persist. Improved agricultural policies that can change nutritional outcomes require a better understanding of the links between agriculture and nutrition, as well as complimentary policies in water, sanitation, and household behavior change. This lecture presents international lessons learned in successfully using agricultural pathways to reduce malnutrition with important implications for the Indian context.

Distinguished Lecture given at the Institute of Economic Growth, University of Delhi, India, on March 10, 2014.

Agricultural Pathways to Improved Nutrition: Getting Policies Right! Prabhu Pingali Professor of Applied Economics & Director, Tata-Cornell Initiative for Agriculture & Nutrition, Cornell University College of Agriculture and Life Sciences Tata-Cornell Agriculture and Nutrition Initiative Katie Ricketts Tata-Cornell Initiative for Agriculture & Nutrition, Cornell University

• Persistence of under weight births & Childhood stunting • Rising inequality in food & nutrition access • Increasing incidence of obesity • Growing food safety concerns 2TCi 2013© Global Nutritional Challenges

3TCi 2013© The nature and magnitude of the nutritional challenge varies by the stage of structural transformation of a country

Structural Transformation: what is it? Four inter-related processes define structural transformation: • A declining share of agriculture in GDP and employment • A rural to urban migration that stimulates the process of urbanization • The rise of a modern industrial and service sector • A demographic transition from high to low rates of births and deaths TCi 2013© Structural transformation: what is it?

TCi 2013© Structural Transformation is a Historical and Universal Phenomenon

Low Productivity Agriculture Commercialized Agriculture Modernizing Agriculture 0 10 20 30 40 50 60 70 80 -1,000 4,000 9,000 14,000 19,000 24,000 29,000 34,000 39,000 44,000 49,000 54,000 Share of Agriculture (% GDP) GDP (US$ per Capita) Low Income Lower Middle Income UpperMiddle Income HighIncome 0 10 20 30 40 50 60 70 80 -1,000 4,000 9,000 14,000 19,000 24,000 29,000 34,000 39,000 44,000 49,000 54,000 GDP(US$perCapita) Share of Agriculture (% GDP) HighHumanDevelopment MediumHumanDevelopment LowHumanDevelopment TCi 2013© Structural Transformation, Human Development, and Agricultural Performance

7 Webb P , and Block S PNAS 2012;109:12309-12314 Structural Transformation and Nutrition

Global map of stunting 8 Global map of stunting

The first 1,000 days of life… 9 ~9 months in utero ~6 months breastfeeding Early childhood Message: to impact child nutrition and safeguard cognitive and physical development, targeting women and girls during childbearing years (ages 15- 45) is essential. TCi 2013©

10TCi 2013© So what does agriculture have to do with it?

11Webb P , and Block S PNAS 2012;109:12309-12314 Effect of policy support for agriculture versus non-agriculture on the prevalence of stunting

12 Nutrition is multidimensional ©Tata-Cornell Agriculture and Nutrition Initiative (TCi), 2013

13 ©Tata-Cornell Agriculture and Nutrition Initiative (TCi), 2013 For rural households, agriculture is central to food access Agricultural policies are central for influencing: • Rural household income (food affordability) • Regional/local food supply (productivity and food diversity) INCREASED MATERNAL HEALTH AND REDUCTION IN CHILDHOOD STUNTING TCi 2013©

14 ©Tata-Cornell Agriculture and Nutrition Initiative (TCi), 2013 Agriculture is only part of the equation, complimentary policies are essential Complimentary policies for behavior change and environmental change are essential components: • Behavior (education, women’s empowerment, etc.) • Water, sanitation, and hygiene efforts INCREASED MATERNAL HEALTH AND REDUCTION IN CHILDHOOD STUNTING

Food system classification Characteristics Low productive systems • Little to no Green Revolution gains • Low per capita income • Low agricultural productivity • Low diet diversity • High under nutrition & micronutrient malnutrition Modernizing Systems • Green Revolution gains • Low-medium per capita income • Moderate agricultural productivity • Moderate diet diversity • Persistent micronutrient malnutrition Commercial/e xport systems • Medium-high per capita income • Higher opportunity for agricultural productivity • High diet diversity • coexistence of under nutrition and over nutrition 15 One size does not fit all… contextualizing ag-nutrition policies TCi 2013©

16 Vicious cycles of low productivity systems… TCi 2013© Low diet diversity High relative price of non-staples Poverty Micronutrient malnutrition Low productive staple crop systems

17 Low productive agriculture: policy recommendations Context-specific focus Specific policies • Cereal-based intensification strategies • Productivity-focused investments for smallholder farmers • Biofortification of staple crops • Fortification of staples • Complimentary interventions • Kitchen gardens for year-round access to micronutrient-rich foods • Backyard livestock and poultry • Social safety net programs for the most vulnerable TCi 2013©

18 Modernizing systems and dietary change: how could the story go? TCi 2013© Income increases Increasing productivity for staples Demand for non staples increases Increases in cereal (calorie) supply and reduced cereal prices Farmers diversify into new, developing markets for micronutrient and protein-dense foods Food supply diversity increases Agriculture commercialization continues

19 Modernizing food systems: stalled progress because of misaligned incentives and policies changes the story TCi 2013© Income increases Increasing productivity for staples Demand for non staples increases Increases in cereal (calorie) supply and reduced cereal prices Farmers diversify into new, developing markets for micronutrient and protein-dense foods Food supply diversity increases This link depends on policy and market environment Agriculture commercialization continues

20TCi 2013© When policies and market incentives don’t enable farmers to meet a growing demand for non-staples, the the result is: • Limited supply of micronutrient and protein-dense foods • Impacts for dietary diversity availability • Sustained high relative prices of non- staples • Impacts for dietary diversity affordability • Agriculture incomes lag behind • Impacts on absolute food budgets All too often, poor policy and market environments halt or disable diet transformation… Demand for non staples increases Farmers diversify into new, developing markets for micronutrient and protein-dense foods This link depends on policy and market environment

21 Modernizing Agricultural Systems: policy recommendations TCi 2013© Context-specific focus Specific policies Linking farmers to markets • Investments in infrastructure • Investments in essential institutions (credit, insurance, land rights, etc.) • Investments in public-private partnerships Strengthening demand for micronutrient and protein-rich foods • Policies that establish product standards and better trading relationships • Policies improving food safety Supporting agriculture as a business • Upgrading traditional markets and investing in informal actors

• For poorest populations in Africa and South Asia • Health and well-being in rural areas lag far behind urban areas • Productivity effects more serious where physical labor critical input • Women are particularly vulnerable - Employment patterns: - women play a predominant role in the production of food crops ; especially in Africa. - Biological vulnerabilities: - women have special vulnerabilities related to reproductive health and they are adversely affected by health and nutrition risks. - Life responsibilities: - women have a set of unique responsibilities in the home, particularly in terms of the care of children. Role of Health and Nutrition in Agricultural Development TCi 2013©

23 Complimentary policies Behavior change: • Education, extension Harnessing the power of women’s groups. • Nutrition messaging through women’s groups Water, sanitation, hygiene • Clean water technology development • Sanitation technologies TCi 2013©

24 The continuing relevance of agriculture in all stages of development: key policy priorities Investments in enhancing of food supply • Investments in technology, research and development for productivity and nutrition enhancement • Investments in post-harvest technologies and infrastructure Agri-market investments • Investments necessary to connect farmers to markets • Policies aimed at opening up foreign direct investment in food value chains • Modernization of extension • Broadening extension to include nutrition messaging Investments in health and social environment • Investments in sanitation (toilets) and access to clean water • Empowerment of women and incentivizing women’s self-help groups Investments for food affordability and access • Relative price changes • Continuation of safety net programs that target vulnerable populations

Thank you! 25 Website: tci.cals.cornell.edu Blog: blogs.cornell.edu/agricultureandnutrition/ Thank you!

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