BREAKOUT SESSION 5: POLICY AND INSTITUTIONAL APPROACHES
BACKGROUND AND SCOPE
Agricultural and food policies are seldom designed taking nutritional and health considerations into account. However, the deployment of agricultural and food policy instruments such as production or consumption subsidies, and choices made by governments about commodities or regions or aspects of the food system to invest in are potentially very relevant to nutritional outcomes of the population. Mirroring this policy design misalignment is an institutional disconnection: institutions operating in the agriculture and health sectors have little interaction, and there is little knowledge available on how intersectoral solutions are facilitated and sustained. This session will examine past knowledge, current advances and future research needs in these areas. There is relatively little past research in this area to draw on; however, a number of major research projects are currently engaged in improving the knowledge base. Hence the strategy in this session will be to draw on knowledge emerging from these current projects.
Key questions include: What is the available evidence on how agricultural policy instruments and patterns of government investment in agriculture impact on nutrition and health outcomes? What factors constrain efforts to connect agriculture and nutrition in existing policies and strategies? What political economy aspects are important in the agriculture-nutrition policymaking sphere? What are the major institutional challenges in aligning agriculture and health? What research tools and disciplines do we need to draw on to address these questions satisfactorily? What are the implications of the above questions for future agricultural research priorities?