The research project aims at a positive link between nutrition security and farm practices as well as vicious cycles will be addressed as shall be identified.
At the dawn of the 21st century, differences among regions and countries in nutrition security are still high. Even in regions where the total amount of food seems to be sufficient, many households face difficulties in achieving a diversified diet that providing all necessary macro-, micronutrients, and health-promoting bioactive substances. Besides global malnutrition, micronutrient deficiencies are typical manifestations
This project will investigate sites which are under environmental and food security stress as well as not suitable and too fragile for commercialization strategies because of severe overpopulation, soil depletion, degradation, deforestation, erosion, lack of knowledge, rapid yield decline, low natural productivity, etc. Combined with few investments in soil fertility and few scope for innovations based on externally produced inputs and market access, the focus shifts to alternatives such as diversified agriculture looking at cropping diversity and conservation agriculture.
The project goal is to discover to what extent and how a more diverse farming contributes to diverse diets and nutrition security. Moreover an evidence for a positive correlation (link) between enhanced agricultural diversity (incl. agro-biodiversity and farming practices) and improved food and nutrition security should be detected. The project shall demonstrate that changing farming systems from mono-cropping to diversified farming can lead to improved food security and sustainable food systems. In return this will improve on the dietary diversity and food quality, thus the nutrient intake of a population which is eventually caught in a vicious cycle of monoculture, short run food deficits, and long run food insecurity.
The project is financially supported by the German Federal Ministry of Food and Agriculture (BMEL) based on the decision of the Parliament of the Federal Republic of Germany through the Federal Office of Agriculture and Food (BLE).