Food Consumption

Zambia National Food and Nutrition Summit

Forty percent of children under the age of five in Zambia suffer from stunting. To address this worrying trend, policymakers have placed food and nutrition security at the forefront of national priorities. At a recent National Food and Nutrition Summit held in Lusaka, stakeholders emphasized the need for a multisectoral approach to end malnutrition and improve food sustainability in the country.

The conference, supported in part by IFPRI’s Food Security Portal, brought together a number of participants from government ministries and agencies and development organizations.

African Leaders for Nutrition Initiative

Food security has long been a development goal in Africa south of the Sahara, as well as in other developing regions. However, in recent years, it has become increasingly recognized that basic food security – simply having enough food to eat – is not enough to ensure long-term, sustainable growth and development. Rather, nutrition security – having enough high-quality, nutrient-dense food to eat – is needed to improve health outcomes, drive economic growth, and end hunger in all its forms.

2017 Global Nutrition Report

According to the latest Global Nutrition Report, released in early November, the world remains off-track on meeting nutrition targets, and financing to address malnutrition is not adequate to meet the needs of the problem.

Measuring Child Malnutrition

Malnutrition during the first two years of life can lead to increased risk of child morbidity and mortality. Globally, malnutrition causes 45 percent of all deaths reported for children under the age of 5. In addition, malnutrition can cause suboptimal brain development, which negatively affects cognitive development and can lead to poor educational performance and low productivity in adulthood.

Rising Cost of Nutrition

A diverse and nutrient-dense diet is key in the fight against malnutrition. However, in many developing countries, poor households are unable to afford an adequately nutritious diet.

Is Higher Priced Food Safer?

The lack of a reliable safe food supply in developing nations brings with it both health and economic costs. A recent article published in Agricultural Economics explores the idea that brands that can ensure the safety of their food should be able to charge higher prices for their product. This ability to earn higher profit in turn incentivizes brands to meet and maintain higher food safety standards.

Ethiopia’s PSNP and Child Nutrition

Ethiopia’s Productive Safety Net Programme (PSNP), which combines a public works program with unconditional cash and food transfers, is one of the largest safety net programs for household food security in Africa. But does it actually improve childhood nutrition in the country?

Food Transfers and Child Nutrition

In the 2016 Global Hunger Index (produced by IFPRI, Concern International, and ), Malawi ranked 88th out of 118 countries, with 20.7 percent of the population suffering from undernourishment and 42.4 percent of children under 5 years of age suffering from stunting. In the lean season, food and nutrition security poses even more of a challenge; according to an assessment by the Malawi Vulnerability Assessment Committee, 2016 lean-season food insecurity (stretching from October 2015 – March 2016) was forecast to affect around 2.8 million people.

Food Safety and Food Price: Is There a Link?

Food safety remains a significant concern in many developing countries, thanks to a prevalence of decentralized, informal food markets and low enforcement of food safety standards. Formal markets and branded food products are starting to become more common, however, allowing firms to establish themselves in consumers’ minds as providers of safe, high quality food – and potentially to charge higher prices for that food.

Household Production and Child Nutrition

In 2011, 44 percent of Ethiopia’s children under the age of five suffered from chronic malnutrition.[1] Reducing that number is important not only for children’s current health and well-being but also for their future health and economic productivity as adults. Thus, improving childhood nutrition by expanding children’s diets to include more nutrient-dense foods like legumes and fruits and vegetables has become an important goal for many policymakers.

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