This Evidence Report examines the potential for and limitations of promoting business and market-based approaches to reducing undernutrition through increasing the availability and accessibility of nutrient-rich foods for the undernourished.
There is an increasing emphasis by development agencies on the benefits of involving the private sector in strategies to increase food production and consumption and tackle undernutrition. Recognising this trend, the report analyses the effectiveness of market-based approaches in meeting the challenge of micronutrient malnutrition through the provision of nutrient-rich foods to populations at risk of undernourishment.
By examining how markets in particular countries operate in practice, the report identifies the situations where market-based approaches are likely to be successful in producing sustainable and effective reductions in undernutrition, and also where they are not. It identifies where there are potentially good returns to promoting markets and the private sector, and where these need to be complemented by alternative approaches in order to provide comprehensive access to nutrient-rich foods. It is based on work carried out in three countries in sub-Saharan Africa – Ghana, Nigeria and Tanzania – complemented by a review of the literature on food market nutrition.