Innovative and Integrated Approaches To Reducing Malnutrition
As worldwide hunger and malnutrition concerns in the coming decades drive the global agricultural development agenda and policies, nutrition objectives must be integrated to better ensure healthy outcomes for people in developing countries. Stunting, a severe form of malnutrition characterized by low height-for-age, presents a major hurdle to development efforts. Stunted children have reduced productivity and lifetime earnings, and are faced with increased risk of infectious diseases and greater likelihood of poor school performance. So far, development efforts have focused on increasing agriculture productivity, income, and food supply in order to reduce stunting; these efforts, while effective, only provides about 25 percent of the solution. Areas that have been ignored in development practices and policies offer an opportunity to solve the problem of stunting. This session explores three key interrelated factors that directly or indirectly affect nutritional outcomes based on new emerging scientific evidence: water, sanitation and hygiene; gut microbiome and human health; and mycotoxin/aflatoxin food contamination. New innovation and discoveries in nutrition research could help direct more effective agricultural and nutrition development policies, and programs should consider these factors to better ensure improved nutrition among smallholder farm households and their communities.