“Intensifying rice production while helping farmers diversify into higher value, nutrient-dense commodities such as horticulture and fish” exemplifies the initiative’s work in Bangladesh. Honduran farmers have benefitted from programs to “help ensure higher maize and bean production for home consumption and encourage farmers to devote more cropland to high-value coffee and horticulture crops to increase income.” Despite a drop in coffee prices and an outbreak of coffee leaf rust “more than 4,300 households…were moved well above the $1.25 poverty threshold. Average per capita daily income shot up 237 percent, from $0.71 to $2.39, among these families.”
Given limits on the availability of land, “the [Feed the Future research] strategy emphasizes a unique approach called ‘sustainable intensification,’ which focuses on growing greater amounts of more nutritious food using fewer resources.” Activities that are a part of this effort include protecting wheat yields from wheat stem rust; developing and introducing climate-resilient maize varieties; making more varieties of the common bean available through seed production networks; making the most of soil through improved soil management technologies; increasing the availability of animal-sourced food for nutrition, income, and resilience; and producing more fruits and vegetables for market sales.
“Every year, undernutrition contributes to 3.1 million child deaths—45 percent of the worldwide total.” Feed the Future links agricultural production and nutrition in order to reduce hunger and undernutrition. “The initiative has an integrated, multi-sectoral approach to increase access to nutrition services, improve hygiene and sanitation, and support the cultivation and consumption of nutrient-dense crops.”
“Looking to the future, we must continue what works and forge ahead in the fight to end poverty, hunger and undernutrition once and for all,” the report concludes.
Source: Daryll E. Ray and Harwood D. Schaffer, Agricultural Policy Analysis Center, University of Tennessee, Knoxville, TN