A Message from A4NH’s Director and IFPRI’s Director General – 2017

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2017 ushered in the second phase of the CGIAR Research Program on Agriculture for Nutrition and Health,John McDermott and the excitement and energy can be felt throughout the program. Our team dedicated itself to conducting a thoughtful analysis of our very successful first phase as we looked for ways to strengthen the program and build upon that foundation. These efforts led to two important changes: First, our program structure now focuses on five targeted flagship research programs, as we bring value chains into food systems and work to partner more effectively with the public health sector. Second, a carefully considered reorganization of our partnership structure provides us with a team of seven highly motivated and committed managing partners. Led by the International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI), they include four other CGIAR centers—Bioversity International, the International Center for Tropical Agriculture (CIAT), the International Institute for Tropical Agriculture (IITA), and the International Livestock Research Institute (ILRI). Two organizations from outside the CGIAR system further enhance A4NH’s reach and reputation in the fields of agriculture, nutrition, and health—the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine, which coordinates linkages with public health research and co-leads our flagship on Improving Human Health, and Wageningen University and Research, which leads our flagship on Food Systems for Healthier Diets. Our accomplishments this year, guided by this prominent group, are detailed in the pages that follow and online at a4nh.cgiar.org. Thank you for your continued support of and interest in our work.

--John McDermott, Director, A4NH

A4NH’s second six-year phase got off to a successful start in 2017. As the host of this CGIAR Research Program, Shenggen Fan (樊胜根)IFPRI takes pride that the innovative, strategic research linking agriculture, nutrition, and health led by A4NH and its numerous partners is leading to significant results and outcomes. There were many accomplishments in 2017. A trial of iron-biofortified beans in Rwanda, led by Cornell University and supported by HarvestPlus and highlighted in the Journal of Nutrition, demonstrated that not only did the iron status of the young women increase, so did their memory and attention capacity. Transform Nutrition’s five-year program in South Asia and East Africa produced a strengthened evidence base for nutrition—numerous publications include the Stories of Change, which assessed how six countries (Bangladesh, Ethiopia,  India  (Odisha),  Nepal,  Senegal,  and  Zambia)  have accelerated improvements in nutrition. A4NH joined partners and other stakeholders for the 2nd annual Agriculture, Nutrition, and Health Academy Week in Kathmandu, Nepal, to share evidence and build capacity on how agriculture linkages can improve nutrition and health. These are just a few of many exciting results from 2017 highlighted in this report. IFPRI, alongside its partners, is pleased that A4NH’s research is contributing to the better integration of nutrition and health into agricultural systems to improve the lives of people throughout the world.

--Shenggen Fan, Diector General, IFRPI