Integrating Agriculture and Nutrition Education for Improved Young Child Nutrition Part I: Technical Meeting Report (Rome, 6–8 July 2015)

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This report summarizes the proceedings of the Technical Meeting “Integrating agriculture and nutrition education for Improved Young Child Nutrition”, which took place at the Rome headquarters of the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) on 6—8 July 2015.

The Technical Meeting was the culmination of a research and advocacy initiative carried out within a project entitled: “Improving the dietary intakes and nutritional status of infants and young children through improved food security and complementary feeding counselling” (IMCF) (2010—2015), implemented jointly by FAO and the Institute of Nutritional Sciences, Justus Liebig University (JLU) Giessen, Germany in partnership with Lilongwe University of Agriculture and Natural Resources (LUANAR), Malawi and Mahidol University, Cambodia. The IMCF project aimed to contribute to the body of evidence on the relationship between agricultural diversification, food security and nutrition education and their nutritional outcomes.

A lot of work has recently been done in this area. In order to inform future programme design, implementation, monitoring and evaluation, FAO and its research partner JLU invited practitioners and researchers from UN agencies, Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs) and research institutions to discuss programme interventions integrating agriculture with nutrition education .

FAO would like to thank all technical experts for the excellent contributions made at the meeting. We would like to acknowledge especially the researchers from JLU, LUANAR and Mahidol universities and the speakers - representing various agencies - who showcased their research results and good practices from integrated agriculture-nutrition education programmes in Africa and Asia.

We would like to acknowledge the government, NGO and community nutrition staff for their readiness to participate in and support programme activities. Most of all we would like to thank the study families for their patience and their willingness to let us investigate such private aspects of their lives as their food, health and eating behaviours. We trust that the results, good practices and lessons that have emerged from our efforts to improve young child nutrition can make a difference to families and communities in many parts of the world.

We would like to say a special thank you for the smooth organization and running of the meeting to Elizabeth Westaway, Theresa Jeremias, Julia Garz, Esther Evang and Rachel McBride, all formerly FAO consultants. Many thanks go to the note takers: Esther Evang, Yvette Fautsch, Julia Garz, Ashley Geo, Yenory Hernandez-Garbanzo, Theresa Jeremias, Judith Kuchenbecker, Edye Kuyper, Rachel McBride, Stacia Nordin, Anika Reinbott, Elizabeth Westaway and Ramani Wijesinha-Bettoni. IT support was very ably provided by Carlos Palmer. Last but not least, a huge thank you is due to Natascia Alessi, Michele Rude and Rachel McBride for making all meeting arrangements, including logistics and catering.

Edye Kuyper, Ramani Wijesinha-Bettoni, Elizabeth Westaway, Stacia Nordin, Esther Evang and Rachel McBride contributed to the meeting report, which is gratefully acknowledged.

Last but not least, we gratefully acknowledge the generous contribution of the German Federal Ministry of Food and Agriculture (BMEL), which funded the IMCF project and supported this Technical Meeting. Ellen Muehlhoff was responsible for the overall direction of the meeting.

The Technical Meeting Secretariat was composed of Ellen Muehlhoff, Elizabeth Westaway, Theresa Jeremias and Irmgard Jordan.