national policies wtEvery country has developed, formulated, and decreed national policies related to rural advisory services. Find some examples here. If you are looking for a national policy from a specific country, please use the search function, selecting the category “National policies” and the tag for the country.

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The three self-contained chapters of this dissertation evolves around different aspects of a Farmer Field School intervention taking place in northern Tanzania, studying the diffusion of agricultural technologies and how agriculture links to food security, poverty and child health. The intervention is called RIPAT (Rural Initiatives for Participatory Agricultural Transformation) and was funded by the Rockwool Foundation. As a consultant for the Rockwool Foundation I administered a large scale data collection for an impact evaluation of RIPAT.

All three chapters of my dissertation build on these data. The first two chapters are coauthored with Helene Bie Lilleør. A recurrent theme in this dissertation is the identification of causal effects. Since participation in RIPAT is voluntary, the data does not offer direct experimental variation which I can exploit for identification, and there exists no baseline data collected before the implementation of RIPAT I to control for selection. I pursue different identification strategies which are detailed in the three chapters. In the following, I provide a preview of the findings.

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Successful integration of nutrition interventions into large-scale development programmes from nutrition-relevant sectors, such as agriculture, can address critical underlying determinants of undernutrition and enhance the coverage and effectiveness of on-going nutritionspecific activities. However, evidence on how this can be done is limited. This study examines the feasibility of delivering maternal, infant, and young child nutrition behaviour change communication through an innovative agricultural extension programme serving nutritionally vulnerable groups in rural India. The existing agriculture programme involves participatory production of low-cost videos promoting best practices and broad dissemination through village-level women's self-help groups. For the nutrition intervention, 10 videos promoting specific maternal, infant, and young child nutrition practices were produced and disseminated in 30 villages.

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Zambia remains one of the countries with the highest levels of malnutrition on the African continent, despite increasing investment to curb the situation. Similarly, Zambia continues to perform poorly on gender equality. Evidence from the Zambian Demographic Health Survey reveals that in comparison to men, women have less education, lower literacy levels, and less exposure to mass media, which directly affects their position in their households as well as society (CSO 2015).

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The wide-spread presence of home gardens, in developing nations is a strong foundation for food security, both in terms of quantity and quality. Indigenous wild food plants are a rich source of health-giving micronutrients, which are missing from highly refined fast/convenience foods the growing reliance on which has caused an ever-increasing occurrence of dietary-related diseases. A simple solution to resolving micronutrient malnutrition is the transplanting of neglected and underutilized plant species (NUS) into home gardens. These plants can also be sold in local markets providing additional family income. Agricultural extension personnel can play an influential role in promoting the transplanting process by presenting workshops for women farmers and home makers. Guidelines and resources for these workshops are given below.

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Like other INGENAES activities, this research activity aims toward the larger goal of building gender-responsive agricultural extension and advisory services and as a result, improving women farmers’ agricultural productivity and household nutrition. This particular project expanded the overall INGENAES focus by bringing men into the picture, specifically, looking at men’s perspective on their roles in meeting household nutritional needs and their preferences for nutrition-sensitive extension approaches. In addition, this project sought out information from men and women about gender roles and particularly transformations in gender roles taking place in rural villages that might affect nutritional outcomes.

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Poverty is the basic cause of undernutrition and undernutrition contributes to the vicious cycle of poverty. Honduras is a low middle-income country located in Central America facing major development challenges. According to the World Bank, more than 63 percent of the population lived in poverty in 2014. Poverty disproportionately affects the rural areas, where approximately six out of 10 households live in extreme poverty, or on less than US$2.50 per day.1 Moreover food security in Honduras is threatened by high probability of tropical storms and hurricanes, droughts, floods and landslides, deforestation, and frequent mild earthquakes.

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Gender relations in Bangladesh have been undergoing a process of considerable transformation over the past thirty years as part of a broader process of economic transition and societal change. Women farmers made up 40 percent of the total agricultural labor force in 2010, with a 7 percent growth in women’s participation in agriculture between 2005 and 2010 (Akter et.al., 2015). Evidence shows that the wage difference between men and women in agriculture decreased from 40% to 30% for the year 2011/12 to 2013/14, which can be taken as a positive change (FPMU, 2015; BBS Monthly Bulletin, 2015), although the gap is still very high. Despite such progress, Bangladeshi women are still primarily considered to be unpaid family labor (56.3% of women in the labor force), and their contributions to agriculture are not fully recognized, neither in the household and communities nor at the national level (SFYP, 2015).

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In Zambia, investment in agricultural extension with a focus on gender equity and nutrition outcomes has been increasing, and in the last decade, several organizations have replicated projects in different geographical areas. However, with persistent high prevalence of malnutrition and micronutrient deficiencies still being recorded especially among children below the age of five, it is either these initiatives have little impact on reducing malnutrition, they are not sufficient, the correct programs are not being implemented, and/or the methods used to measure the impact may be inappropriate.

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Smallholder agriculture can potentially affect food security and nutrition through the following pathways: 

  1. Making food available through production; 
  2. Reducing the real cost of food by increasing the supply of food. The composition of production also matters, since this affects the availability and prices of different foods with their varying nutrients; 
  3. Generating incomes for farmers and those working the land as labourers, that allow access to food; and through 
  4. Providing incomes to others in the rural economy from linkages in production and consumption that create additional activity and jobs. 

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This factsheet is the second publication by generation nutrition looking at the differentways of preventing child undernutrition. It explains howagricultural programmes in developing countries can have a bigger impact in reducing undernutrition and, in doing so, fulfil one of the sectors main roles: to provide people with the nutritious food they need for a healthy and productive life.

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