Strengthening Agri-food Value Chains for Nutrition

The project aims to help reduce undernutrition by informing policy and providing tools to make food and agricultural systems more ‘nutrition-sensitive’. The project identifies opportunities for improving private sector involvement in food systems, and analyses strategies to overcome barriers that prevent nutrient-rich foods reaching people suffering from undernutrition.

This is a snapshot of the infographic entitled Can the private sector tackle undernutrition amongst the world's poorest people?


The image above is extracted from an infographic, entitled Can the private sector tackle undernutrition amongst the world’s poorest people? (PDF) which broadly explains why tackling malnutrition through market-based solutions often fails to reach the poorest people.

It should be read in conjunction with the policy briefing entitled How Can We Use Markets to Reach the Poor With Nutritious Foods?, and other materials associated with the research, which focused on three countries:

  • Ghana
  • Nigeria
  • Tanzania

Lessons from the countries have been synthesized and shared through key policy fora at the national and global levels.

Key outputs

  • Value chain mapping and tools to assess the potential of particular products for addressing undernutrition for poor and vulnerable population groups.
  • Case studies on the role of business throughout food value chains.
  • Policy options to allow donors, governments, the private sector and non-profit organisations to overcome the constraints they face in reaching the undernourished.

Project details

start date
6 March 2014
end date
6 March 2017


Supported by

About this project

Research themes


Image of John Humphrey
John Humphrey

Professorial Fellow

Image of Spencer Henson
Spencer Henson

Professorial Fellow

Recent work


How Can We Use Markets to Reach the Poor With Nutritious Foods?

IDS Policy Briefing 116

To effectively reach poor people, nutritious food must be affordable, available in the market, safe, and must contain the nutrients which it claims to have. Ensuring that nutritious food can reach the most vulnerable cannot be addressed by an individual business or value chain, but rather must...

1 May 2016

Journal Article

Markets for Nutrition: What Role for Business?

IDS Bulletin Vol. 46 Nos. 3

This article examines how this might be achieved, drawing lessons from three intervention types: ready-to-use therapeutic foods (RUTFs), mandatory fortification and voluntarily fortified products.

Ewan Robinson

19 May 2015