Agriculture Nutrition and Health Academy Week

  • 08th July 2019
  • by secretary

24 – 29 June 2019. Hyderabad, India. The ANH Academy Week is a series of annual events that bring together the community of researchers and users of research (practitioners and policymakers) working at the intersection of agriculture, nutrition and health.

The objectives of the ANH Academy Week series is to foster knowledge exchange, innovation and learning around ANH research.

The ANH Academy Week consists of two interlinked components:

  1. Learning Labs – a series of training sessions in interdisciplinary agriculture, nutrition and health research;
  2. Research Conference – an abstract-driven symposium featuring oral presentations, poster sessions and keynotes speeches, as well as plenary round tables, side events and working group discussions.

The ANH Academy builds on the successful legacy of five agri-health research conferences organised in London by the Leverhulme Centre for Integrative Research on Agriculture and Health (LCIRAH); as well as ongoing events and activities coordinated under the CGIAR Research Program on Agriculture for Nutrition and Health (A4NH), which is led by the International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI).

The first ANH Academy Week took place in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, in June 2016. (Read more and access resources).

Extracts of the programme:
Agri-food Tools for Research
A new modelling tool – Agri-food – for supporting nutrition-sensitive agriculture decision-making has been developed. It applies Multi Criteria Decision Analysis to compare a range of food combinations that could be promoted for consumption and/or production within nutrition or agriculture programmes. 

The tool compares the consequences of promoting these different food combinations across a range of agricultural, gender, gender, nutrition, environmental and economic indicators that are chosen and ranked by stakeholders . 

The analysis identifies options likely to have the most favourable impact across indicators, taking stakeholder priorities into account. Risks that may need to be considered when planning a programme are also identified.

System Dynamics in Researching Markets for Nutrition
System dynamics provides a powerful set of intuitive visually-based modelling tools to capture complex agriculture-nutrition linkages with associated ‘what-if’ scenarios. This lab presented the concepts, terms and rationale of systems dynamics at an introductory level; enabling the participants to develop systems communication tools like “causal-loop” and “stock and flow” diagrams. Inspired by a practical example from the Market Intervention for Nutritional Improvement (MINI) project (BMFG and UK DfID), the second half of the session guided the participants through the construction and simulation of a simple systems model using the online platform ‘InsightMaker’.

Impact of input subsidies on household food availability in rural Zambia: A gendered perspective
To enhance household food security in rural Zambia, it is more beneficial to target households with female primary decision makers. Even better, it is imperative to empower women to participate in agricultural decision-making.

Impact of women’s empowerment policies on nutrition outcomes in Kenya 

The paper provides evidence supporting the importance of achievement and access to opportunities for women on the nutritional status of the mothers and their children. The study also shows the benefit of reducing the gender gap and empowering women for improving the nutritional status of households. The paper reflects on the circumstances under which women’s empowerment policies can deliver on nutrition outcomes.

Understanding empowerment among informal milk traders in peri-urban Nairobi: Informing

an adaptation of the project-level Women’s Empowerment in Agriculture Index

Examples of the adaptations are including specific assets needed by milk vendors (including licenses), changing questions about productive decisions to focus on those related to the milk business, and adding a module on entrepreneurial psychology.

Implementation of healthy food environment policies in Ghana: Gaps and priorities to prevent nutrition-related non-communicable diseases 
The first such NCD (non-communicable diseases) policy appraisal in West Africa, this study identified important gaps in implementation of key policies to promote healthy FE (food environments), compared with international best practices. These findings support current calls to improve the FE, but also asserts the feasibility of deploying the Food-EPI (Healthy Food-Environment Policy Index ) methodology in Africa.

Does Malawi’s Farm Input Subsidy Programme (FISP) improve dietary diversity? 
The quantitative and qualitative analyses from our surveys, key informant interviews, and focus group discussions suggest no impact of the FISP on food choices and dietary diversity in any significant way. The interviews and focus group discussions raise several issues relating to policy implementation that may help explain this lack of impact.

Has the provision of legume seeds subsidies affected dietary diversity? Evidence from Malawi’s

Farm Input Subsidy Programme (FISP)
Farming systems in Malawi dominated by maize production are supported with government input subsidies, which translates into consumption of calorie-dense foods associated with nutrient deficiencies. Since 2009, legumes are subsidized to diversify production and consumption of foods available.

Sustainability of community-level approaches to nutrition-sensitive

agriculture: A case study from Cote d’Ivoire

Gardening was found more sustainable than poultry rearing due to building on an activity with which women had expertise and saw as within their domain. In contrast, poultry rearing was poorly suited to collective production due to limited knowledge and mortality problems. Moreover, the lucrative nature of poultry production made it prone to capture by men at women’s expense; this was exacerbated by low literacy that made it difficult for women to manage an enterprise without male support.

Livestock ownership, not maize production, is associated with maternal anemia in malaria endemic rural low-income settings in Ethiopia

Livestock ownership, particularly chicken domestication in the household, was associated with higher mean hemoglobin concentration. Furthermore, maize cultivation could also potentially aggravate malaria transmission, particularly if malaria prevention activities are weak.

Biomarkers of aflatoxin exposure, diet, climate and children’s growth in rural Ethiopia

There has been growing recognition that aflatoxins are associated with impaired linear growth of children. To date, the relationship between aflatoxin (AF) biomarkers in serum and child growth in Ethiopia has not been investigated. We assessed children’s exposure to AF in pre-harvest and post-harvest seasons using serum biomarkers and tested the association of their exposure with the linear growth. Further, the importance of diet is recognized (maize is more prone to aflatoxins than other cereals) as is that of climate, as fungi thrive better under humid and high-temperature conditions.

Seasonality of serum aflatoxin levels (AFB1) in pregnancy and early childhood in a longitudinal cohort study in Banke, Nepal

This study indicates a high occurrence of aflatoxin exposure during pregnancy and in the first year of life in infants from this region of Nepal. Further, seasonality has a significant relationship with higher levels being observed in the winter months in both mothers and infants. We postulate that the level of exposure and its relationship with health outcomes may be modulated by seasonality. This relationship needs to be considered in any analysis to ascertain the role of aflatoxin in modulating health outcomes such as linear growth and/or in strategies aiming to mitigate aflatoxin in the food system.

Smartphone based point-of-use determination of aflatoxin in peanuts to ensure safety

Food Away from Home in Nigeria: Consumption, Drivers and Nutritional Implications of Within-Day Meals
Advancing consumption of FAFH may mean less availability of iron and calcium for households. Taking breakfast or lunch AFH seems to hold little consequence for daily calories, proteins and fat consumed by households while side-dishes and dinner AFH may trigger nontrivial divergence.

Food-based recommendations to improve dietary adequacy of women living in pastoral and

agro-pastoral zones of Turkana, Kenya 
Many developing countries are yet to develop food-based dietary guidelines that can be adopted at local or national level. More research aimed at understanding dietary patterns of different population groups is required to facilitate development of feasible FBRs.