As part of the FAO Liaison Office’s Visiting Technical Expert Initiative, Charlotte Dufour, a Food Security, Nutrition and Livelihoods Advisor from FAO Headquarters in Rome, came to Washington D.C. last month. Charlotte has dedicated her work to bridging the gap between nutrition and agriculture—striving to mainstream nutrition into agriculture policies and programs (in particular through AU-NEPAD CAADP investment plans).
Charlotte is a coveted speaker on the subject of nutrition-agriculture linkages, especially in light of the recent G8 Summit in London that pledged 4 billion dollars by 2020 to tackle child malnutrition. During her weeklong stay in Washington D.C., Charlotte participated in over 10 meetings, round-table discussions, and larger events. Highlights included facilitating a workshop at Bread for the World’s Scaling Up Nutrition conference, being a panelist at the launch of the Lancet Series on Maternal and Child Nutrition, and participating in this Agrilinks interview with USAID. During the interview, Diane De Bernado, Nutrition Advisor for USAID’s Bureau for Food Security, asked Charlotte to explain how a new set of consolidating guiding principles could help to make agriculture more nutrition-sensitive.
When asked what were some of the greatest obstacles in making agriculture more nutrition-sensitive, Charlotte noted:
“The main challenge is that agriculture currently is largely driven and motivated by economic interests—the generation of income or the production of staples of food. But if we want to improve nutrition, we need to look at diversity, we need to look at strategies targeting the poor, we need to look at gender issues. And so there is an issue of how can we reconcile the economic objectives that are fundamental for agriculture with the nutritional needs of consumers.”
To delve more deeply into the challenges, and also the opportunities for bringing nutrition and agriculture experts together, here are some of the publications, events, and initiatives discussed in this interview:
- FAO’s 2013 State of Food and Agriculture report (June 2013)
- The Lancet Series on Maternal and Child Nutrition (June 2013)
- Consolidated Guiding Principles: Key Recommendations for Improving Nutrition Through Agriculture (2013)
- Resources from the USAID Agriculture & Nutrition Global Learning and Evidence Exchange (AgN-GLEE) event in Washington, DC (June 18, 2013)
- UNSCN Agriculture-Nutrition Community of Practice
- CAADP Nutrition Capacity Development Initiative