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229. Policy Recommendations for Improving Nutrition through the Food System

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The Centre for Food Policy at City, University of London published a brief on "42 policies and actions to direct the food system towards healthier diets for all" in December last year. Agricultural recommendations include strengthening extension programs, infrastructure and education to support farmers to grow and market nutritious foods, redesigning of agricultural development programs to promote income growth from nutritious crop cultivation, and breeding research to improve the nutritional value of crops. 

The 42 policies and actions with the potential to orient the food system towards healthy diets include agricultural actions (1-7), international trade actions (8), research, processing and technology actions (9-15), supply chain infrastructure actions (16-21), financial actions (22-25), public institution actions (26-27), business incentives (28-32), regulations and laws (33-37), education and public awareness actions (38-41) and national guidelines (42).

In particular, the 7 agricultural actions are as follows: (1) Deliver agricultural extension programs, infrastructure and education to support farmers to grow and market nutritious foods; (2) Redesign agricultural development programs intended to increase food producers’ income; (3) Provide women with agricultural assets, training and support to increase agriculture productivity and output, and access to markets to sell nutritious foods; (4) Provide low-income households, including women, with support for animal-husbandry and training for animal rearing, safety management and processing along with nutrition education; (5) Support the production and consumption of nutritious indigenous crops; (6) Deliver (peri-)urban agriculture programs which provide land and other inputs, support local market development and deliver training and nutrition education; and (7) Provide inputs and training to develop and maintain home gardens along with nutrition education.

JIRCAS is conducting research on quinoa, which is attracting attention as a “superfood”, with partners in Japan and Bolivia. In recent years, quinoa has been highly evaluated for its nutritional value such as gluten-free, low GI value (Glycemic Index: an index showing a relative rise in blood glucose level), and an exquisite combination of amino acids, fibers, lipids, carbohydrates, vitamins, and minerals. At the same time, quinoa grows in harsh environments such as the barren lands around Salar de Uyuni, a salt flat in southwest Bolivia, and attention is being paid to elucidating its mechanism. JIRCAS not only paves the way for breeding and adding value to quinoa for the purpose of raising the income of farmers, but also aims to gain insights into breeding strategies for climate change mitigation by clarifying the mechanism of crops that adapt to harsh environments and climate conditions. 
 

Reference

Hawkes, C., Walton, S., Haddad, L., Fanzo, J. (2020) 42 policies and actions to orient food systems towards healthier diets for all. London: Centre for Food Policy, City, University of London.   https://www.gainhealth.org/sites/default/files/event/publication-42-pol…
accessed on Feb 3, 2021.

Contributor: SHIRATORI Sakiko (Research Strategy Office)