Many factors contribute to the inability of people to consume a nutritionally adequate diet, and the body to absorb effectively the nutrients in the foods they do eat. Indeed, the challenges of undernutrition are so varied that no single solution can be effective amongst the available responses.
Among these multiple interventions are food-based approaches including increasing dietary diversity and enhancing the nutritional profile of foods through bio-fortification and/or fortification (Ecker et al. 2011: 6), which play a particularly important role in addressing micronutrient deficiencies.
Given that the challenges associated with making effective links between agriculture and nutrition have been long-recognised, the need is not to undertake further analysis of the problem, but rather to identify the best ways in which this problem can be overcome.
This Discussion Paper accompanies a new Program Planning tool, developed by IDS and GAIN, with support from the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), entitled Nutritious Agriculture by Design. The tool specifically places a nutritional focus on agricultural programmes by providing a framework for programme designers and implementers to guide and adjust agricultural interventions through improved linkages with nutrition.