• Friday, May 24, 2024
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AERC advocates deepen agriculture, food policies to curb malnutrition in Africa

AERC advocates deepen agriculture, food policies to curb malnutrition in Africa

African Economic Research Consortium (AERC) has advocated the need for policy makers to promote agriculture and food policies as a tool to curb malnutrition in Africa.

Njuguna Ndung’u, executive director, AERC, said there was an urgent need for governments across Africa to recognise the role of policy reforms and institutional innovation to overcome implications and consequences for Africa’s malnutrition burden on child mortality, education outcomes, healthcare system and labour productivity.

“Inadequate early-life nutrition, food prices, affordability and accessibility of nutritious foods through the life cycle, low income and education levels, including critical information gaps has challenged increased consumption in the region.

“There is need for government to commit to create enabling environments for adoption of yield-enhancing technologies, seize market opportunities, raise incomes and enhance nutritional status and well-being.”

Ndung’u, addressing the press in Abuja, stressed on the need to make agriculture more nutrition-sensitive as a sustainable solution to the burden of malnutrition (under-nutrition, over nutrition and micro nutrient deficiency) facing African countries.

Innocent Matshe, director of training/research, AERC, in his remark, noted that appropriate incentives and nutrition education are critical for households to consume appropriate diets and adopt productivity that drives agricultural development and broader economic and social transformation.

“Food and nutrition security is part of a larger nexus of development challenges and opportunities, the nutritional needs of women and children require special attention.

‘’We need to be mindful of the need to address the expanded access to land through secure tenure, credit, markets, and financial services.

“Acknowledging the importance of tackling problems related to the triple burden of malnutrition through an explicitly integrated approach focusing on agriculture, rural development and food security cannot be overemphasised at this time.

He further stressed on the need farmers and players in the agriculture sector to focus on nutrition-sensitive produce as a way of tackling malnutrition adding that improving nutrition requires a multi-sectorial and integrated approach.

“Implementing nutrition-sensitive agriculture, food security policies and strategies, engaging multi-stakeholders and promoting their concerted actions will play a critical role in furthering inclusion of households and small-scale enterprises in financial markets”.