Nutrition-sensitive agriculture interventions in mountain areas-Lessons learned from a 5-country project to upscale best practices

Thomas Bernet*, Shakhnoza Kurbanalieva, Katherine Pittore, Barbara Zilly, Louise Luttikholt, Frank Eyhorn, Verena Batlogg, Markus Arbenz

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review


Many people living in mountain regions in lowand middle-income countries are vulnerable to food and nutrition insecurity, which contributes to poor nutritional status. Food and nutrition security require stability of access to affordable, safe, diverse, and nutritious foods. In mountainous areas, affordability and access to diverse foods are challenged by climatic factors constraining agricultural production, poor infrastructure, and geographic isolation. This article describes a nutrition-sensitive agriculture (NSA) project focusing on 5 countries-Ethiopia, Kyrgyzstan, Nepal, Pakistan, and Peru-where 132 microinterventions were implemented by rural service providers (RSPs) who received training and technical support from the project. These microinterventions serve as learning cases for advocacy work to promote the NSA approach at the local, national, and global levels. They are also documented on an Internet platform allowing RSPs and other stakeholders to share best practices and lessons learned at the national and global levels. Preliminary results indicate that this approach is highly effective in addressing nutrition and livelihood issues in remote mountain areas. To scale up the approach and boost its integration into policies at the local, national, and global levels, 2 aspects will be critical. First, more systemic and integrated NSA initiatives need to be implemented that functionally combine production- A nd consumption-related aspects to effectively change nutrition behavior and serve as learning cases for scaling up. Second, effective capacity development of RSPs and encouragement of interaction among them is key to empowering them as change agents.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)278-287
JournalMountain Research and Development
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 1 Nov 2018


  • Ethiopia
  • Kyrgyzstan
  • Mountain agriculture
  • Nepal
  • nutrition
  • Pakistan
  • Peru
  • rural development policy

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