Good — and not very surprising — to see our friend Prof. Jess Fanzo recommend that “the U.S. should consider targeting additional research funding toward,” among other things, “crop diversity and nutrition.”
Low productivity, high production risks, and insufficient diversification towards producing more nutritious foods are critical drivers of the elevated cost of healthy diets, especially in low-income countries. More research should focus on developing sustainable and scalable production methods for various crops, including fruits, vegetables, legumes, nuts, improved forages for climate-smart animal nutrition, and where appropriate, biofortification and fortification of crops and food. In addition, more research is needed to improve the affordability of animal-source foods, such as fish, eggs, and dairy, that would enhance both nutrition and livelihoods.
Though actually probably most of the other five priority research areas she comes up with could also have had “crop diversity” added to the title. For the record, the full list is:
- Climate change adaptation and mitigation
- Soil health and nutrient management
- Crop diversity and nutrition
- Access to markets and finance, especially for women
- Supply chain infrastructure
- Local capacity building
It’s all in Jess’s report for the Farm Journal Foundation, entitled Building Stronger Food Systems in the Face of Global Shocks, which she summarizes on her must-read blog.
I learnt about it on Jeremy’s latest newsletter, which is also a must-read, natch.