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Global Panel on Agriculture and Food Systems for Nutrition

Starting from August 2013, LIDC is acting as the Secretariat for the Global Panel on Agriculture and Food Systems for Nutrition.

The Global Panel on Agriculture and Food Systems for Nutrition is an independent group of influential experts advising decision-makers, particularly governments, on generating nutrition-enhancing agricultural and food policy and investment in low and middle income countries.

The Global Panel is jointly funded by the UK government and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.


International commitment to improving nutrition is growing. National and international participation in Scaling up Nutrition (SUN), the substantial pledges at the 8 June 'Nutrition for Growth' event in London from governments and foundations, and the new focus on nutrition in civil society programmes all point to a concerted effort over the next few years to improve the nutrition of the poor worldwide.  Most current and promised investment is in 'nutrition-specific' interventions, such as micronutrient supplementation and fortification. The June 2013 Lancet series on 'Maternal and Child Nutrition' reaffirmed that reducing under-nutrition will require substantial, additional benefits arising from 'nutrition-sensitive' interventions, including agricultural interventions.

While there is strong evidence that agricultural growth can reduce undernutrition through its effects on income growth and food security, there have been relatively few agricultural development interventions specifically directed at improving nutrition, and the evidence that these generate positive nutritional outcomes is limited . Further, even interventions for which there is positive evidence, such as biofortification and homestead agriculture programmes, are experimental and it is not clear how they would scale up. At the same time, opportunities for nutritional benefits from changing existing, large-scale national agricultural policies and programmes remain little explored.

For agriculture and food systems to make their essential and substantial contribution to improving nutrition, there is therefore a need to understand “what works” and how it can be more widely implemented.  In response to the lack of evidence mentioned above, there is now a great deal of research underway, some of it involving rigorous impact evaluations based on strong programme-theory and impact pathway analysis . This means that, over the next few years, there will be a growing opportunity for evidence-based policy making in agriculture and food systems for improved nutrition.


The Panel will organise and implement an approach designed to achieve the following objectives:

  • To generate and stimulate a stronger evidence-base for how changes in agriculture and food systems can improve nutrition.
  • To create and promote a new understanding amongst decision-makers of the role and future potential of agriculture and food systems in achieving nutritional security.
  • To drive change by catalysing collaborative actions in agricultural and food systems that will improve diets and equitable nutrition outcomes for all, with special attention to the nutritional needs of women and children.

Panel composition

The Panel members are:

  • Akinwumi Adesina, Federal Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, Nigeria
  • John Beddington (Co-Chair), former UK Government Chief Scientific Advisor, Co-Chair
  • José Graziano da Silva, Director General, Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO)
  • Mahabub Hossain, Executive Director, BRAC
  • Jane Karuku, President, AGRA
  • John Kufuor (Co-Chair), former President of Ghana, Co-Chair
  • Rachel Kyte, Vice President for the Sustainable Development Network, World Bank; and Chair of CGIAR Fund Council
  • Anthony Lake, Executive Director of UNICEF
  • Maurício Antônio Lopes, President, Embrapa
  • Srinath Reddy, President, Public Health Foundation of India
  • Emmy Simmons, Board Member, Partnership to Cut Hunger and Poverty in Africa/AGree
  • Rhoda Peace Tumusiime, Commissioner for Rural Economy and Agriculture, African Union Commission 


LIDC acts as the Technical Secretariat for the Global Panel. 

The Secretariat:

  • Conducts desk-based research as requested by the Panel;
  • Prepares documentation to be presented to the Global Panel. These documents will be presented to the Panel members for consideration and deliberation. They will form the basis of Global Panel findings and thus will inform the recommendations made by the Panel;
  • Communicates Panel reports, briefings and findings to an international audience, including global communications campaigns targeting ; and
  • Organises Panel meetings.  

Way Forward

The Panel met for the first time on 28-29 October 2013. Afterwards the Panel will meet at least annually and report to the international community. Read more


29 October 2013: "Making Agriculture Work for Nutrition" a public discussion and official Global Panel launch (summary, video and audio now available)


June 2013: LIDC to host Secretariat for Global Panel on Agriculture and Food Systems for Nutrition


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