A4NH Releases Strategic Briefs Highlighting Key Program Achievements, Lessons Learned


by A4NH | February 19, 2021

Throughout its 11-year history, the CGIAR Research Program on Agriculture for Nutrition and Health (A4NH) has contributed to the knowledge and evidence base with innovative, strategic research linking these critical areas of work. As the program's second phase draws to a close, some of these learnings and achievements have been captured in a series of strategic briefs, touching on work conducted across the five research flagships by researchers from seven managing partners, representing work from across the globe. Topics include:

Measuring the Impact of Agriculture Programs on Diets and NutritionAgriculture holds tremendous potential to improve nutrition. Agriculture programs can increase household access to nutritious foods and contribute to improving the diets of all household members. This brief examines what agriculture program impact assessments should focus on, how changes in micronutrient status, anemia, and overweight and obesity can be used to measure impacts, and benefits and drawbacks of using certain indicators to measure success.


Catalyzing the Scale-Up of Crop BiofortificationWorking with 600+ partners globally since 2003 has enabled HarvestPlus to facilitate the release of almost 370 biofortified varieties of 11 staple crops in 41 countries, and delivery of biofortified seeds to 40+ million people. This brief details critical steps taken in preparing to scale up, and identifies concrete steps to continue that process moving forward.



Lessons Learned on Scaling Aflasafe® Through Commercialization in sub-Saharan AfricaAflatoxins are produced by molds that widely contaminate foods and feeds. Controlling them protects crops for the health of consumers as well as farmers' livelihoods. The International Institute of Tropical Agriculture, the US Department of Agriculture–Agricultural Research Service, and national institutions, with support from A4NH and other donors, have developed several biocontrol products with the tradename Aflasafe® to do just that. This brief details lessons learned about roles for the public and private sector, scaling up challenges, technology development, and the central role of a commercialization strategy.


Food Systems Research to Support Sustainable Impact: Food systems are changing rapidly around the world. This brief details what A4NH has learned about the central role of the consumer and the food environment in addressing food system transformation for better health and nutrition, as well as challenges for governance, understanding tradeoffs and drivers, and the importance of taking a country perspective in order to ensure alignment to national goals.



Supporting Consumer Choices Toward Healthy, Safe, and Sustainable Diets in Low- and Middle-Income CountriesAs food systems transform globally, but particularly in low- and middle-income countries, consumer demand for fresh, perishable, and healthy but risky foods is increasing. This brief explores how prices, habits, beliefs, and convenience influence food choice, the implications of poor consumer understanding and perception around food safety risks, and what measures might inform and influence consumer choice.


Mitigating Health Risks in Sustainable Agricultural IntensificationAgricultural intensification is critical for meeting the food demands of a growing planet, yet with intensification comes health risks. This brief details A4NH research into what interventions and modifications might secure the same agricultural purpose without harmful health side-effects, including the role of collaboration between public health and agricultural research institutions and how working together brings us much closer to solving the problems than either can do alone.


Intersectionality and Addressing Equity in Agriculture, Nutrition, and Health: While malnutrition persists everywhere, those at the most risk of shocks with ripple effects impacting their nutritional outcomes, are usually those who are already disadvantaged. This brief details A4NH research into how issues of inequity can create disadvantages; the multiple, overlapping, or intersectional, ways in which people are often disadvantaged; and steps researchers can take to address the evidence gap on how disadvantage accumulates and interacts in different contexts to ensure impact in reducing malnutrition moving forward.