Partnering for Better Food

Innovative Approaches to Partnering with the Private Sector to Link Agriculture and Nutrition in USAID Priority Countries.

Two projects involving collaboration between IDS and the Global Alliance for Improved Nutrition (GAIN) are working to identify and support scalable public-private innovative partnerships in developing countries that bridge the gaps between agriculture and nutrition programmes to improve nutrition for the poor and undernourished. This work focuses, in particular, on the production and consumption of nutrient-dense foods that are rich in vitamins and minerals. It uses a value chain approach to analyse the challenges and opportunities not only associated with increasing the production of these products, but also their consumption by undernourished households.

The first project developed a rapid assessment tool for use by designers and implementers of agricultural projects. Its aim is to enable these groups to consider how to make agricultural projects more nutrition-sensitive.

The rapid assessment tool, ‘Nutritious Agriculture by Design: A Tool for Program Planning’, has been trialled in Bangladesh and Kenya and has now been converted into digital format. This tool is being launched at SecureNutrition in Washington DC on 15 April 2013 and is available for download from the GAIN website.

Nutritious Agriculture by Design: A Tool for Program Planning’ starts from agricultural projects and considers how to make them more nutrition-sensitive. A second tool, currently under development, looks at the issue from the opposite angle. It starts from nutritional needs and priorities, and works back to food distribution, processing and production. It considers opportunities for market-based solutions to the problem of ensuring that nutrient-dense foods are available to undernourished populations.

This tool has been trialled in Mozambique and is currently under development. Similar work on linking agriculture, food and nutrition is being developed in Ghana and Nigeria, where the potential for market-oriented, food-based approaches to reducing micronutrient deficiencies are being examined.

Key contacts

John Humphrey

Professorial Fellow

Project details

start date
15 April 2011
end date
31 October 2014


About this project

Programmes and centres
Business and Development Centre

Recent work