Linkages Between Agricultural Extension Policies and Nutrition Outcomes

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Sarpong, Daniel Bruce
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African Economic Research Consortium
The important role agriculture plays in African economies and livelihoods, and the strong linkages that agriculture forges with other sectors, cannot be overemphasized. Promoting agricultural growth spurs economic development in upstream and downstream subsectors (NEPAD, 2013). Agricultural performance, through its direct impact on job creation and increasing opportunities, especially for women and the youth, food security and improved nutrition, and strengthening resilience, is key to growth and poverty reduction in Africa. Since 2016, the African Economic Research Consortium (AERC) has implemented several activities under the “Analysis of the Impact of Agricultural, Food and Nutrition Policies on Nutrition Outcomes in Africa” (AFPON) project by exploring the link between agricultural policies and nutrition outcomes in Africa. The AFPON project, on one part, sought to analyse how agricultural productivity, agricultural extension and advisory services affect nutrition outcomes in order to establish policies and practices that would improve food security and nutritional status. Several papers on agricultural extension policies were produced in the course of the project’s implementation. In this paper, a review and synthesis of AFPON research papers on the linkages between agricultural extension policies and nutritional outcomes are provided in order to understand the linkages between, and the impact of, agricultural extension policies on nutrition outcomes.In this paper, we examine the available literature on agriculture, nutrition and health linkages, delineate the agricultural extension policy and nutrition outcome nexus, and provide empirical evidence informed by the AFPON research outputs. We undertake a synthesis of the AFPON research outputs by examining whether the agricultural extension-(policy)-nutrition outcomes nexus has been empirically deduced. The paper finally presents agricultural policy implications for addressing the challenges associated with malnutrition in sub-Saharan Africa (SSA).