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Responding to Health Risks Along the Value Chain

This paper offers a helpful overview of the key health risks along the value chain, trends that are driving greater scrutiny of food safety, and the challenge of exclusion from safe food value chains faced by poor consumers and producers. It puts forward a modified risk analysis framework to address food safety concerns while also supporting market access by smallholder farmers. Finally, the authors offer several potential solutions to address food safety issues created by information asymmetries, inequities in market power and abuses of power.

Value Chains for Nutrition

Value Chains and Nutrition provides an important overview of the theoretical and actual application of the value chain approach to improving nutrition.  It outlines the pathways through which the two can interact, and then summarizes eight case studies in which value chain-related initiatives have addressed nutrition.

Lessons Learned From 25 Years of Food Security Research, Capacity-Building, and Outreach

This resource provides a coherent and helpful summary of the Michigan State University (MSU)’s Food Security Group’s research, primarily from Sub-Saharan Africa. Lessons are presented in four areas: The first, Agricultural Growth and Food Security Strategies, suggests that small shrinking farm sizes in many countries will prevent many farmers from escaping poverty from on-farm production alone. Investments in education and non-agricultural sectors will be important.

Gender: A Key Dimension Linking Agricultural Programs to Improved Nutrition and Health

This short brief finds that gender is a critical factor shaping the impact of agricultural programming on food security and health. The paper suggests that positive impacts are more likely when the agricultural intervention enhances women's control over assets and includes nutrition education to ensure better use of additional food or income.  The brief presents three agricultural development strategies in terms of their gender impacts — household food production, linking smallholders to markets, and large-scale agriculture — and recommends ways to ensure that each of these strate

Market-based approaches to nutrition improvement and food security and linkages to agriculture: TechnoServe’s Evolving Strategy

This presentation by TechnoServe presents the organization's strategy for improving nutrition through its work with the private sector. Five strategies are outlined: nutritional reviews, food fortification, commercialization of nutritious food, crop diversification, and encouraging embedded nutritional services by value chain actors. The presentation briefly examples two examples of how this strategy could be applied.

Smallholder Commercialization: Processes, Determinants and Impact

This paper by the International Livestock Research Institute reviews the available literature on smallholder commercialization. Of particular interest, the paper discusses the arguments for smallholders to scale-up and commercialize existing food crops versus beginning to produce completely new crops specifically for sale. The production of high-value crops typically generates greater returns for producers, but also typically implies greater risks and barriers to entry. In general, commercialization is found to be positive for families, though the impacts vary.

Enhancing Nutritional Value and Marketability of Beans through Research and Strengthening Key Value-Chain Stakeholders in Uganda

This short note presents the approach being used by the Dry Grain Pulse Collaborative Research Support Program in Uganda to improve nutritional outcomes through the development of the bean value chain.  The initiative explicitly applies a sustainable livelihoods framework and related tools, including through its emphasis on using participatory methodologies.  In the context of minimal commercialization and low productivity of the bean crop, despite its high micronutrient content, the project works to address multiple overlapping value chain constraints.  The note describes so