Community-led, nutrition-sensitive agriculture in Sub-Saharan Africa

Community-led, nutrition-sensitive agriculture in Sub-Saharan Africa | School of Food Science and Nutrition | University of Leeds

Additional co-investigators: Professor Marion Hetherington (Psychology), Dr Steve Sait (Biologial Sciences)

Nutrition-sensitive agricultural food systems can deliver positive nutrition outcomes to smallholder farm families. However, the design, implementation, and monitoring and evaluation of robust, evidence-based nutrition-sensitive interventions is lacking.

This project aims to: (1) systematically evaluate the interventions across countries and cultures, and contribute to regional policy advocacy of nutrition-sensitive agriculture and (2) to apply the knowledge gained from (1) to design a novel community-based intervention to improve protein malnutrition through insect production and consumption.

This research builds on the strong partnership between the University of Leeds and the Food, Agriculture, Natural Resources Policy Analysis Network (FANRPAN) established through the Agricultural and Food-system Resilience: Increasing Capacity and Advising Policy programme - The Global Challenges Research Fund, Grant Ref: BB/P027784/1 project (BBSRC GCRF AFRICAP).


The proposal aligns with: - SDG2 End Hunger - SDG1 No Poverty - SDG3 Good Health and Wellbeing - SDG5 Gender Equality - SDG8 Decent Work and aims to have the following impact in the long term:

  • Social: optimal nutrition improves physical and cognitive health of populations, with a disproportionate positive impact on children, adolescents and women of child-bearing age (who have the highest nutrient needs). Women empowerment, skilling and employment.
  • Economic: successful adoption of nutrition-sensitive agriculture can result in income generation for producing communities, and for women in particular. Also, the creation of promising business models for insect agriculture will enhance sustainability of smallholder business enterprises.
  • Academic: increased capacity for evaluation of nutritional interventions, data analysis, storage and sharing, ethics.
  • Cultural: consumption of insects is a cultural and traditional component of many African countries, the use of endemic natural resources and the valuable traditional knowledge of Sub-Saharan African population will preserve cultural heritage and identity.
  • Political: evidence base policies and programming leading to impactful development investments.
  • Environmental: the advocated nutrition-sensitive interventions and value chain will integrate climate-smart practices.