The basic methodological concept is illustrated in Figure 1. It works with project specific causalities on a link between nutrition and agricultural intervention.

The project assume there are several multipliers and vicious cycles to be identified along routines in farming ending in a new concept. This concept is introduced by a collection of indicator variables and underlying factors. Diversified nutrition is included by hidden vari­ables depicting nutrient and health concerns of households.

In the project, the concept of diversified nutrition is taken in broad sense. Generally it implies:

(i) healthy nutritional statuses, achieved through intake of different foods from different food sources (provi­ded by diversified farming and purchased from off-farm income),

(ii) use of different crops to compose meals which serve nutrition needs (for instance, due to diversified crop production incl. vegetables, legumes, fruit trees and fodder trees for animals delivering proteins),

(iii) utilization of healthy crops (offering full ranges of nutrients), and finally

(iv) adapted preparation techniques of food and meals for a healthy diet (based on routines).

Figure 1: Causality Analysis

Causality Analysis

To test the hypothesis of a positive link between agricultural diversity and nutrition security we will first in­ves­ti­gate families and groups with respect to existing diversity in agricultural practice and food intake (WP1 and 2). This assessment will be done in different agro-ecological areas for identifying already existing local mechanisms which people apply to cope with nutrient deficits and whether diversity vs. simplification has been a strategy so far.

The traditional system will investigated (WP3) and look at organic matter turn-overs. ie the project will find out willingness to modify farming practices towards diversification and discuss farm practices based on new crops (fruit, fodder trees, etc.)

The finding will translate into a mechanism between dietary diversity (i.e. in particular in order to better meet the micronutrient needs) and agricultural diversity, that will be put into a communication framework (WP4).