Leveraging Agriculture for Improving Nutrition and Health conference

Annual Report 2011

The 2020 Vision Initiative organizes high-level policy consultations and communications activities on key emerging issues in food policy in order to develop a shared vision and consensus for action on poverty, hunger, and malnutrition.

  • In February 2011, the 2020 Vision Initiative coordinated one of the first global consultation processes on how to better integrate the agriculture, nutrition, and health sectors to improve the well-being of poor people in developing countries. The “Leveraging Agriculture for Improving Nutrition and Health” conference was held in New Delhi and inaugurated by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh. The event drew 1,000 participants from 65 countries, including high-level policymakers; leading researchers and practitioners; and experts from the agriculture, health, and nutrition sectors, to unleash the potential for agriculture—as a supplier of food, a source of income, and an engine of growth—and to sustainably reduce malnutrition and ill health for the world’s most vulnerable people. The three-day conference also featured a dozen side events and a knowledge fair that served as a forum for networking and brainstorming.

  • A series of 8 technical papers and 21 policy briefs were commissioned and peer-reviewed as background material for the conference. Based on the outcomes of the conference and additional peer review, the policy briefs were revised and compiled into a book titled Reshaping Agriculture for Nutrition and Health in early 2012. The book identifies knowledge gaps and potential actions to make better use of agricultural investments to reduce malnutrition and improve health.

  • A number of exciting activities followed the conference, including workshops and policy events in London and Brussels and the formation of a university network devoted to interdisciplinary research. In the fall of 2011, more than 150 people gathered in Lilongwe, Malawi, for a national-level conference on strengthening cross-sectoral linkages, an event that produced a high-level policy note.

  • The momentum created by the February policy consultation in New Delhi informed the development of the CGIAR Research Program on Agriculture for Improved Nutrition and Health.