African senior policy makers have emphasized the need for urgent policy reforms and institutional innovation to overcome malnutrition and boost agriculture in the continent. In a communique issued at the close of a summit which was organised by the African Economic Research Consortium (AERC) in partnership the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) and supported by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation (BMGF), with the theme: “Agriculture and Food Policies for Improved Nutrition Outcomes in Africa,” the group adopted a declaration as an affirmation of their strong commitment to supporting agricultural and food systems for enhanced human capital development. It stated that while food and nutrition security remained part of a larger nexus of development challenges and opportunities, making agriculture more nutrition-sensitive ought to be promoted as a sustainable solution to the triple burden of malnutrition (under nutrition, over-nutrition and micronutrient deficiency) facing African countries.
The policy makers also recognized the implications of ongoing demographic, epidemiologic and nutrition transitions as well as their implications and consequences for Africa’s malnutrition burden on child mortality, education outcomes, healthcare system and labour productivity.
While commending governments across the continent for realizing the importance of increasing shares of national budgets to agriculture, health and nutrition, they called for appropriate incentives and nutrition education which are critical for households to consume appropriate diets and adopt productivity- and income-enhancing technologies and practices that drive agricultural development and broader economic and social transformation. This Day