Hunger, malnutrition, and poor health are widespread and stubborn development challenges. Agriculture has made remarkable advances in the past decades, but progress in improving the nutrition and health of poor farmers and consumers in developing countries is lagging behind. The CGIAR Research Program on Agriculture for Nutrition and Health (A4NH), led by the International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI), is built on the notion that agriculture has the potential to do much more than contribute to basic food and income needs. A4NH is designed to fill the existing gap between agricultural development and its unfulfilled health and nutritional benefits.Within CGIAR, A4NH is an integrative program focusing primarily on the system level outcome to improve food and nutrition security for health. To explore nutrition and health impacts, we begin with consumption—of healthy, affordable, and safe foods—rather than with agricultural production alone. A4NH places strong emphasis on integrating gender and equity, as well as evaluation and impact assessment into its research, offering specific methods to support research and development by others.

Building on successes, lessons learned, and evidence generated from Phase I (2012-2016), A4NH’s second phase of work (2017-22) continues research on biofortification, integrated agriculture-nutrition programs and policies, and food safety. This research builds on strong formative research as well as an advanced understanding of what will be required to achieve impacts at scale. Two new research areas and partnerships have been added in the second phase, in response to new demands: one on food systems for healthier diets, and another on improving human health.

A4NH’s research outputs are designed to support agricultural researchers, value chain actors, program implementers, and policymakers in reshaping their actions to better contribute to nutrition and health outcomes and impacts. The program also aims to develop better synergies between agriculture and the nutrition and health sectors to maximize the benefits and minimize the risks of agricultural actions on human nutrition and health.