Agricultural policies in many African countries focus on industrialising food value chains and substituting domestic products for imported ones. Yet experience in Nigeria shows that, by focusing on staple crops and neglecting vegetables, pulses and animal proteins, these policies are missing opportunities to address micronutrient undernutrition.
By promoting import substitution, these policies also risk undermining gains made in food fortification. Before restricting imported foods, agricultural policies need to build the capacity of domestic value chains to provide high-quality produce, while also strengthening regulatory institutions. This will require long-term commitment, but failure to act could jeopardise progress on undernutrition.
This policy breifing was produced as part of the Reducing Hunger and Undernutrition Programme, funded by DFID and is part of a project on strengthening agri-food value chains for nutrition.