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Food systems research in practice: lessons learned from A4NH

Published on
January 3, 2022

What can we learn from bringing food systems research in low and middle income countries into practice? In the CGIAR Agriculture for Nutrition and Health programme (A4NH), large-scale research has been undertaken into healthier and more sustainable diets for poor and vulnerable groups of people in Bangladesh, Ethiopia, Nigeria and Vietnam.

The large-scale research programme was led by dr. Inge Brouwer, chairgroup Global Nutrition and the Environmental Policy chair group. Researchers from Wageningen Centre for Development Innovation have bundled key learning insights from the flagship project Food Systems for Healthier Diets team and stakeholders in the four countries in the report ‘Nurturing food systems research’.

Marion Herens, senior researcher at Wageningen Centre for Development Innovation: ‘Using interviews, workshops with the research team, surveys and literature reviews, we’ve summarized important overall conclusions. The report provides key insights in research and learnings insights from involved researchers, also as to what research questions haven’t been addressed sufficiently. It reflects how this type of research can best be programmed in the near future to make food systems research more effective.’

The report dives into the lessons learned on the way of navigating research into the dynamics of current food systems, including innovations in value chains and governance. Consumer perspectives plays an important role in the research. Herens: ‘This report is a great starting point for any researcher who wants to undertake research into food systems for healthier diets in low and middle income countries.’