Agriculture and Food Policies for Nutrition in Africa

  • 17th March 2020
  • by secretary

9-10 March 2020. Abuja, Nigeria. AERC’s annual Senior Policy Seminar is unique – bringing together senior policy makers from sub-Saharan African countries together with economic researchers to share knowledge and debate on urgent policy issues relating to sustainable development of African economies.

This year, the focus was Agriculture and Food Policies for Nutrition in Africa, addressing agricultural growth patterns, the burden of malnutrition, diet diversities, climate smart agricultural practices, market access, food security and the effect of agriculture on health and nutrition.

Since 2016, with support from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, AERC has implemented a number of research activities under the Analysis of the Impact of Agricultural, Food and Nutrition Policies on Nutrition Outcomes in Africa (AFPON) programme. This research is aimed at linking agricultural policies to various nutrition outcomes such as stunting, wasting, anemia, child mortality, micronutrient deficiencies, obesity and malnutrition. It also examines how gender access to productive agricultural resources, such as land, affects the nutrition of individuals and households in sub-Saharan African countries; how agricultural productivity, agricultural extension and advisory services affect nutrition outcomes, and establishing the policies and practices that would best improve food security and nutritional status.

The two-day seminar featured four synthesis papers and a policy roundtable discussion featuring

noted researchers and policy makers, globally, including:

  • Prof David Sahn of Cornell University, USA and Prof Germano Mwabu of Kenyatta University, Kenya on Agricultural Growth Patterns, Transformation, Health and Nutrition Outcomes in Africa.
  • Dr Esi Colecraft of University of Ghana on Nutrition Transition and the Triple Burden of Malnutrition in Africa: Status, Determinants and Economic Welfare Costs.
  • Dr Lia van Wesenbeeck (see picture) of Free University of Amsterdam, The Netherlands and Dr Daniel Sarpong of University of Ghana on Diet Diversity and Nutritious Diets in Africa: Effects of Farm Input and Trade Policies and Impact Profiling.
  • Dr Stephen Thornhill of University College Cork, Ireland and Dr Mekbib Haile of World Bank, USA on Combating Africa’s Malnutrition through Food, Agriculture and Targeted Policies.