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Cornell University

Tata-Cornell Institute for Agriculture and Nutrition

Transitioning Towards Nutrition-Sensitive Food Systems in Developing Countries


A nutrition-sensitive food system is one that goes beyond staple grain productivity and places emphasis on the consumption of micronutrient-rich nonstaples through a variety of market and nonmarket interventions. A nutrition-sensitive approach not only considers policies related to macrolevel availability and access to nutritious food, but it also focuses on household- and individual-level determinants of improved nutrition. In addition to agriculture, intrahousehold equity, behavior change, food safety, and access to clean water and sanitation are integral components of the food system. This article provides a detailed review, from an economic perspective, on the multisectoral pathways through which agriculture influences nutrition. A critical challenge is to identify and implement food and nutrition policies that are appropriate to the particular stage of structural transformation in the country of concern.

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