The project aims to establish a research programme that has the combined scientific disciplines and approaches necessary to carry out high quality evaluations of community-based food production initiatives in LMICs. The research is funded by an MRC Global Challenges Foundation Award (MR/P025250/1).
Small island developing states (SIDS) have some of the highest rates globally of obesity, diabetes and related non-communicable diseases. A diet of highly processed foods over fruit, vegetables and fibre is a major determinant of this burden. The majority of SIDS lack food sovereignty, are vulnerable to food insecurity and rely heavily on food imports. There is an urgent need for improved evidence on the impact of agricultural interventions in low and middle income countries on nutrition, health and other aspects of well-being.
Based on St Vincent and the Grenadines, and Fiji, the project will develop and test methods to investigate the current nutritional quality of local diets and the contribution of community-based food production, and map key stakeholders and potential economic and social benefits of local food production. It will also aim to develop methods to estimate the environmental impacts such as on local water use.
A systematic scoping review will be used to explore what is known on community-based food production initiatives in SIDS, including their number and distribution, characteristics, and their positive and negative impacts on health, social and economic wellbeing and the environment. The protocol is available on the full project webpage and results under review and available at request.