Nutrition-Sensitive & Gender-Responsive Ag. Extension

Helping extension and advisory services deliver improved technical assistance and smallholder farmer support.

Agricultural extension and advisory services (AEAS) support smallholders in improving their livelihoods by facilitating their access to inputs, market opportunities, and the skills and knowledge to become more effective farmers. AEAS can play a key role improving gender equity and increasing the availability of diverse, nutritious foods given their ability to influence the production decisions of farming households. By challenging mindsets that fail to consider the needs of both women and men farmers, CAES IPO supports AEAS in inspiring inclusive, diverse agricultural production. CAES IPO leverages its technical assistance and research capabilities to support local experts familiar with their contexts in identifying and implementing strategies to empower all farmers, and to make nutritious foods more available both within farming households and in local food systems.

Recent Events:

"African Extension Week 2017 Side Event: GFRAS Nutrition Working Group and Training"
Thursday, November 2, 2017

“Aligning the Food System to Meet Dietary Needs for Fruits and Vegetables”: Materials provided at link.
Thursday, August 31, 2017, at 10:00am Eastern Daylight Time (GMT -04:00)

“What role can agricultural extension and advisory services play in realizing gender equality and improved nutrition?”: Discussion from the FAO Global Forum on Food Security and Nutrition
Online forum from June-July 2017; 64 contributions to the discussion archived

Relevant Articles from UC Davis researchers and associates:

Singing the same song: Nutrition-sensitive agriculture messages in Zambia
Published in Nutrition Exchange, Issue #8 (July 2017)
Article available at
Podcast interview with authors Edye Kuyper and Bertha Munthali at ENN's MediaHub
Summary: Zambia has experienced more than a decade of robust economic growth and stable maize production, yet food and nutrition security has not improved significantly. Nutrition-sensitive agriculture works to maximise agriculture’s contribution to improved nutrition and offers promise for improving the dietary diversity of Zambians. In Zambia, INGENAES worked with partners to prioritise the harmonisation of nutrition messages, collaborating closely with the Ministry of Agriculture to develop nutrition-sensitive agricultural messages for the government’s 1,700 camp extension officers.

Dietary Gap Assessment: an approach for evaluating whether a country's food supply can support health diets at the population level
Published online in Public Health Nutrition (June 2017)
Article available at Cambridge University Press
Summary: Dietary diversity, and in particular consumption of nutrient-rich foods including fruits, vegetables, nuts, beans and animal-source foods, is linked to greater nutrient adequacy. We developed a ‘dietary gap assessment’ to evaluate the degree to which a nation’s food supply could support healthy diets at the population level.

Agriculture extension and advisory services: Frontline Contributors to the Nutrition Decade
Published by the United National System Standing Committee on Nutrition (UNSCN), News Issue #42 (May 2017)
Article available to download as PDF
Summary: There is growing interest in better leveraging agricultural extension and advisory services (AEAS) for nutrition-sensitive agriculture. Discussions related to nutrition-sensitive agriculture have at times considered agriculture in the absence of the market forces to which it responds. This paper outlines opportunities for AEAS to continue their vital role in supporting the production decisions of farming households, while calling attention to incentives that may facilitate AEAS contributions to nutrition.