Home' Partners : Partners: Nutrition in agricultural research Contents Good nutrition forms the foundation for healthy bodies, healthy minds and
healthy lives. ACIAR is giving attention to research aimed at improving the
nutritional security of vulnerable communities. This issue of Partners takes a
closer look at the issue of nutrition in agricultural research for development.
The Australian Government’s new aid program promotes sustainable economic
growth and poverty reduction through a multifaceted approach, including targeting
health, education and gender equality. Improving nutrition is high on the agenda,
recognising that good health is an essential factor in enabling poor people to take
up opportunities to become educated and earn a living, breaking the poverty cycle.
Lack of access to a range of healthy foods is a key contributor to poor nutrition
in many countries. ACIAR has committed to research delivering access to
diversified and nutritional diets in its new ACIAR Strategic Plan 2014–18.
In this issue we showcase ACIAR research around the world linked to improving
nutrition through a variety of approaches—from crop diversification to livestock
disease management and from market engagement to food safety. Much of the
research targets women as the natural champions for their families’ health and
In Vietnam, ACIAR research is not only opening market opportunities for poor
smallholder vegetable farmers, but also providing broader access for consumers
to fresh produce (page 6). In the Pacific, a return to nutritious traditional foods is
being promoted to help diversify diets and alleviate deficiencies (page 8).
In southern and eastern Africa, ACIAR’s nutrition research focus is on
opportunities for growing vegetables in peri-urban areas and on integrating
village poultr y and crop production in rural areas (page 10).
The importance of small bony fish as an essential source of nutrition for people
in the Pacific and South-East Asia is highlighted on page 14, including snapshots
of our small-fish research in Burma, Cambodia, Lao PDR and Papua New Guinea.
Pork is an all-important food in Vietnam and Lao PDR—page 18 describes work
in these countries that is helping to ensure pork is produced in a safe way for
Efforts to diversify crop production in Burma with protein-rich legumes that will
potentially improve diets are described on page 16.
The concept of good nutrition extends to what we feed our animals, our crops
and our soils. Some case studies of research addressing nutrient deficiencies in
livestock and soils are given on pages 12 and 13.
Further articles cover social research on impacts and opportunities from natural
resource pressures in Lao PDR and research guiding forestry practices in Lao PDR,
including allowing room for growing crops among trees.
In the opinion article on page 24, Associate Professor Ruth Colagiuri and
Dr Si Win Tin discuss the need for carefully planned, multidisciplinary research to
avert the dangers of growing prosperity going hand-in-hand with overnutrition
associated with obesity, diabetes and cardiac disease.
Finally, our News section gives an overview of what has been happening
around ACIAR in the past few months including special events, staff changes and
our latest publications. n
The Australian Government’s new aid program
promotes sustainable economic growth and poverty
reduction through a multifaceted approach, including
targeting health, education and gender equality.
Australian Centre for International Agricultural Research (ACIAR), aciar.gov.au
GPO Box 1571, Canberra ACT 2601, Australia
© Australian Centre for International Agricultural Research (ACIAR)
This work is copyright. Apart from any use as permitted under the Copyright Act
1968, no part may be reproduced by any process without prior written permission
Managing editor: Brad Collis, Coretext Pty Ltd, coretext.com.au
Editor: Dr Gio Braidotti, Coretext Pty Ltd, coretext.com.au
Design and production: Tim Claeys, Coretext Pty Ltd, +61 3 9670 1168
Issue One 2014 PARTNERS
Partners in Research for Development is the
flagship publication of the Australian Centre for
International Agricultural Research (ACIAR). Partners
presents articles that summarise results from
ACIAR-sponsored research projects and puts ACIAR
research initiatives into perspective. Technical
enquiries will be passed on to the appropriate
researchers for reply. Reprinting of articles, either
whole or in part, is welcomed, provided that
the source is acknowledged.
This publication is freely available from ACIAR’s
website at aciar.gov.au. It is also freely available
on request from ACIAR. The use of a trade name
does not constitute any endorsement of, or
discrimination against, any product by ACIAR.
For further information contact:
ACIAR Communications and Stakeholder Engagement,
+61 2 6217 0500
Letters from readers are welcome and should be addressed to:
Partners in Research for Development, ACIAR
GPO Box 1571, Canberra ACT 2601, Australia
Photos: All photos ACIAR unless credited
ISSN 1031-1009 (Print)
ISSN 1839-616X (Online)
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