The Tata-Cornell Agriculture and Nutrition Initiative
On May 14th, 2015, SecureNutrition co-hosted an event with the Agriculture Chapter of 1818 Society, India Agricultural Group and the Agriculture Global Practice to bring Dr. Prabhu Pingali, Professor of Applied Economics and Director of the Tata-Cornell Initative (TCi) to the Bank to discuss the progress they have made in the year since the initiative began.
Download the Presentation Slides (PDF 5.5 MB)
Dr. Pingali began with an overview of the framework they are using to understand the interrelationship between factors affecting child and maternal health, in the context of food and nutrition. (See picture below). This framework was one of the main accomplishments of the first year, and will help to guide their research and the types of projects students undertake going forward.
There are four main components to TCi, which currently focuses all its work in India:
- Better Data & Metrics
- Action Research on Agriculture – Nutrition Nexus
- Policy Analysis & Advocacy
- Capacity Building & Outreach
Better Data and Metrics
TCi has developed modules that address nutrition data that can be collected through existing agricultural surveys, and created a women’s dietary diversity survey that relied on 3-day recall as opposed to a month-long recall.
Action Research on Agriculture – Nutrition Nexus
TCi sponsors PhD students to undertake research on the connections between agriculture and nutrition. For short descriptions of each of these, check out the TCi webpage.
Policy Analysis & Advocacy
Many of the policies that TCi is currently working on aim to equilibrate the prioritzation of de-emphasize the importance of calorie-dense foods as compared to nutritionally dense foods. TCi is pushing for a level playing field for nutrient-rich crops, as they are often disincentivized through existing agricultural policy in India.
Capacity Building & Outreach
The last pillar of TCi’s work involves capacity building to support Indian researchers and extension agents. TCi supports research scholars and runs a visiting fellow program to open the Cornell doors to a wider group of academics. They also host policy workshops and joint courses with their partners.
Dr. Prabhu Pingali, Professor and Director
Tata-Cornell Agriculture and Nutrition Initiative, Cornell University
Meera Shekar, Lead Health Sepcialist