Case study 5: Community food production and health: Empowerment, engagement and innovation for improved nutrition outcomes in Pacific Island Countries

Year of Publication: 2020

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A multi-pronged strategy that embeds capacity development, investments in research and technology development and empowerment of rural communities is contributing to building resilience in agri-food and nutrition-sensitive systems in Pacific Island Countries. This strategy has enabled Pacific communities to actively engage in implementing innovative solutions to support the development of local food crops and fisheries value chains.

Key Messages

• The complexity of the interconnected food, nutrition and health challenge in Pacific Island Countries requires local solutions.
• Community-based food production and health initiatives that are owned, organised and managed locally can contribute to increased reliance on local nutrient-dense crops and fish, improving dietary diversity and livelihoods and reducing nutrition-related diseases, especially non-communicable diseases (NCDs).
• Engage national experts in the analysis of the local food security and nutrition context; specifically, map the policies, organisations and programmes and identify gaps and good practice. Build on this knowledge to prioritise interventions so as to achieve successful outcomes.
• Partner with civil society organisations (CSOs) that have worked closely with communities over the years and earned their trust. Provide technical and financial support and secure proof of endorsement, to ensure inclusiveness and active participation of the communities in co-defining and implementing the planned interventions.
• Encourage CSOs to build alliances with Ministries of Health, Agriculture and Education, universities and other strategic partners, to expand access