Agriculture is the primary livelihood of a majority of the population in South Asia. The region also houses a large population of undernourished people. The farming system for nutrition (FSN) model envisages developing and demonstrating a sustainable framework of farming to improve nutritional outcomes that can be used for upscaling and wider adoption. Agricultural intervention and farming systems research in India has been largely focused on enhancing production, productivity and profitability of crop and animal resources without much emphasis on better nutritional outcomes. The FSN model has been conceptualized to develop location-specific inclusive models to address the nutritional needs of farm and non-farm families based on their resource endowments and surrounding environment. The main components of the model are as follows: (1) survey to identify the major nutritional problems, (2) design suitable agricultural interventions to address the problems, (3) include specific nutritional criteria in the design, (4) improve small farm productivity and profitability, (5) undertake nutrition awareness programmes and (6) introduce monitoring systems for assessing impact on nutrition outcomes. The objective is to demonstrate feasibility of nutrition-sensitive agriculture. The proposed model is being tested in two select locations to demonstrate improvement in nutrition status through improved agricultural production system, dietary diversification, income enhancement, greater nutrition awareness and changed behaviour patterns, to be evaluated through a set of objective indicators.
Kumar, P.; Bhavani, R.V.; Swaminathan, M.S. A Farming System Model to Leverage Agriculture for Nutritional Outcomes. Agricultural Research (2014) 3 (3) 193-203. [DOI: 10.1007/s40003-014-0119-5]