Fostering an Enabling Environment for Nutrition-Sensitive Agriculture and Food Systems in Nigeria

Abstract

Background:

Although recommendations exist for making agriculture and food systems nutrition sensitive, guidance about how to successfully operationalize these recommendations within national institutions is limited. Over the 13 years from 2010 to 2023, there were several undertakings to strengthen the enabling environment for sustainable nutrition-sensitive agriculture (NSA) and food systems in Nigeria. Some studies were also conducted over the period to foster better understanding of the national enabling environment and facilitate effective actions.

Objective:

This article documents successes and failures from Nigeria’s experiences by reflecting on critical developments, events, policies, and programmes on Nigeria’s journey toward advancing nutrition through agriculture and food systems; as well as findings from conducted studies.

Discussion:

Successes include the existence of a Nutrition and Food Safety Division in the Ministry of Agriculture and an approval for a Nutrition Department, existence of an agriculture sector nutrition strategy, increased private sector engagement and commitment to nutrition-sensitive food systems, and increased funding for nutrition in the agriculture sector. Challenges especially remain for scaling up strategic, operational, and delivery capacity of both organizations and individuals involved in advancing NSA and food systems. Lessons learned include—institutionalizing NSA and food systems takes time; knowledge brokering is