How can agricultural investments promote quality, safe and nutritious foods for healthy diets?

Making the case for an investment shift
Implementing the UN Decade of Action on Nutrition

44th Session of the Committee on World Food Security (CFS)

Side event

Date: 11 October 2017, Wednesday
Time: 13:00 - 14:30
Venue: Lebanon Room (Building D, 209), FAO Headquarters, Rome


The aim of the side event is to foster a better understanding of the Nutrition Decade’s action area on trade and investment for improved nutrition and offer an interactive platform for discussion on the way forward and engagement under the Nutrition Decade.


Participants are welcomed by the Chair of the CFS OEWG on Nutrition, followed by a framing presentation about the Work Programme of the Nutrition Decade, and the introductory presentation by the representative from the World Bank Group on agricultural investments towards nutritious diets. A Panel of country representatives and other CFS stakeholders are invited to share their experience on this particular action area of the Decade’s Work Programme, followed by an interactive discussion about the existing gaps and the way forward to engage under the UN Decade of Action on Nutrition.


Investments affect the way food systems function. One action area of the UN Decade of Action on Nutrition focuses on key opportunities to achieve global food security and nutrition targets through conducive investment policies and programmes. The Nutrition Decade’s work programme proposes that an action network is created to work on Nutrition sensitive investments and start analysing the nutrition impact of public and private investment policies in the food sector; making the case for an investment shift. International financial institutions are already taking steps to transform commitments made at the Second International Conference on Nutrition in 2014 into action by mainstreaming nutrition in their agricultural and rural development investments. The side event takes stock of recent developments aimed at optimizing nutritional returns of agricultural investments.

Key messages

  • There is a disconnect between dietary guidance and food system investments.
  • A shift in investments away from the current focus on the quantitative production of few crops to increased quality and diversity of food production is urgently needed.
  • Although public investments are considering nutrition-sensitive agriculture, this is not really changing the core investment flow.
  • Public sector is not the major investor; it is rather a catalyst for choices made by private sector investments. More research is needed to better understand and use this catalytic role.
  • A focus on nutrition-sensitive value chains would be necessary.

Organizing partners

The side-event is co-convened by the World Health Organization (WHO) and the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), the two lead agencies of the Decade of Action on Nutrition. It is organized in collaboration with Bangladesh, Ethiopia, the World Bank Group and the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD).