As a unified set of global poverty reduction goals, the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) in principle provide an opportunity for overcoming sectoral divides and forging effective links between agriculture and health. Both agriculture and health are important for most of the MDGs, and positive synergies could link agricultural and
health policy, programming, and research in ways that would benefit both sectors and advance the MDGs as a whole. But these links have not materialized in satisfactory ways.
This brief argues that while the MDG concept is clear on goals, it has never been clear on how to link goals to policies and on how to promote synergies between goals. A framework for linking agriculture and health in ways that alleviate poverty and hunger is missing, as is a set of policies to effectively exploit the synergies between agriculture and health. Such a framework requires an additional emphasis on context, governance, and policy tools.