Making safe, nutrient-rich foods more accessible to people on low-incomes is one way to reduce micronutrient undernutrition (the lack of essential nutrients and minerals required by the body for healthy development).
Efforts to integrate better agriculture and nutrition are focused on this goal, and many initiatives target low-income farm households. Examples of this approach include distribution of orange fleshed sweet potato vines, and promotion of home gardens and schemes to increase the production and consumption of nutrient-rich foods (fish, fruit and vegetables, chickens) by farm households.
In South Asia, a large proportion of the poorest people depend on agriculture for their livelihoods, so farm-based initiatives are important. However, it is increasingly recognised that most low-income households buy some or all of their food in markets. Even farm households frequently buy some of their foods in markets and dependence on markets for obtaining food is even greater for rural non-farm, landless and urban households. In addition, public agencies often acquire food for distribution to low-income households through markets.
This work is part of the Leveraging Agriculture for Nutrition in South Asia (LANSA) programme
Humphrey, J.; Samar Zuberi. LANSA Policy Brief 2. Markets for Nutrition. (2015) 4 pp.