Food and nutrition security is an important policy objective in low- and middle-income countries. For policymakers, businesses, farmers and other important actors in the food system, a variety of complex factors are at work, all of which have an influence on the achievement of that objective. These factors play out at different levels, from the macro economy and national policy down to local-level actors with, at times, conflicting interests. Certain risks and barriers can arise out of this, which in turn can prevent policy interventions from achieving their objectives.
Over the past few years, food systems have become more central in the discourse around food and nutrition security. This had shifted the focus from improving farmer productivity to more attention for consumer demand, the importance of nutrition in achieving positive health outcomes, and the relationship between agriculture and the environment. However, the growing number of scientific analyses of food system dynamics did not yet translate into effective policy interventions that contribute to better food and nutrition security. The Food System Decision Support tool, developed by Wageningen Economic Research and KIT Royal Tropical Institute, aims to turn those scientific food systems insights into practical recommendations for food and nutrition security policy.