Understanding the Links Between Trees, Forests and Nutrition


Globally, about 842 million people are undernourished – about 12% of the population – and more than 2 billion suffer from micronutrient deficiency, or “hidden hunger,” according to the UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO).

This is a great improvement from 20 years ago, when 19% of people in the world were going hungry. Yet as poverty declines, demand for food rises. With the global population expected to grow from 7 billion today to nearly 10 billion by 2050, demand for cropland will be ever-higher, intensifying the pressure to clear forests for agricultural expansion.

The irony is that – although further research is needed – several studies have suggested that forests play a key role in nutrition and food security. For example, a study of 21 African countries, using data from health surveys of 93,000 children aged 1-5, found that children living close to forested areas tended to have more nutritious diets and consumed more fruits and vegetables. At the World Congress on Agroforestry, which I am attending this week in New Delhi, a full session was devoted to exploring the links between tree cover and nutrition. (…)

Read the full post by Swedish International Agricultural Network Initiative (SIANI)

Blogpost by Matilda Palm, a post-doctoral researcher in the Department of Energy and Environment, Chalmers University of Technology, and a member of the Forest, Climate & Livelihood Research Network (Focali). She is participating in the World Congress on Agroforestry as part of a collaboration between Focali and the Swedish International Agricultural Network Initiative (SIANI) around the theme.

Vigyan Bhavan & Kempinski Ambience

10 - 14 February 2014 Delhi, India
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