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A Leadership Strategy for Reducing Hunger and Malnutrition in Africa: the Agriculture-Nutrition Advantage

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C. Johnson-Welch et al
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Agriculture and nutrition specialists are missing opportunities to reduce poverty, hunger and malnutrition by failing to combine their resources, act collaboratively, and incorporate a gender analysis throughout their work. The Agriculture-Nutrition Advantage project, which ran over three years between 2001 and 2004, aimed to address these failings by setting up a network of leaders and advocates in sub-Saharan Africa. The network promoted an approach to combating hunger that sought to bridge the gaps between those working on nutrition and agriculture by highlighting the links between agriculture and nutrition, whilst also recognising the gender dimensions. For example, larger crop yields may increase food supply, but monocrop production or greater quantities of low nutrient crops do not necessarily result in good nutrition. Agriculture-Nutrition Advantage team members emerged as strong advocates for an agriculture and nutrition-linked, gender-informed approach to fighting hunger. They developed plans of action and collected evidence to illustrate the effectiveness of this approach. They brought community members together with technical specialists and, in one case, political decision makers to apply this approach at the grassroots level.