Review of agriculture-nutrition linkages in South Asia

Review of agriculture-nutrition linkages in South Asia

The paper reviews the evidence of agriculture–nutrition linkages with particular reference to South Asia from studies published during the period 2012–2018. South Asia houses the largest population of undernourished people in the world and a majority of the population in the region is dependent on agriculture and allied activities and live in rural areas. Following a review of agriculture nutrition linkage, the paper reviews recent work in South Asia focusing on the pathway of agriculture as an asset and source of food and the role of women in agriculture. The evidence from reviews of agriculture nutrition linkage finds lack of robust evidence of impact on nutrition outcomes. The studies from South Asia highlight the importance of production diversity, agriculture and land productivity and enabling factors of WASH and women’s empowerment, for impact on dietary diversity and nutrition outcomes.

This points to need for policy focus in these areas. Most of the studies were based on secondary data and the search yielded very few intervention-based studies; there were also no studies from Pakistan. The importance of leveraging agriculture for nutrition in order to progress towards the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) is now well accepted. Along with efforts to improve dietary diversity through agriculture, long-term intervention studies with robust design targeting nutrition indicators can help better inform policy

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