Agriculture and health are related in many ways in sub-Saharan Africa. Malnutrition, often caused by the lack of micronutrients such as vitamins, zinc, and iron, affects in particular, vulnerable groups such as women and children. Poor food quality and safety, caused for example, by mycotoxins, endanger the health and lives of consumers in Africa, and also impose barriers to trade between African countries and important export markets such as the EU and US.
There is, however, another aspect of agriculture and health in sub-Saharan Africa: widespread diseases such as HIV/AIDS and malaria affect the availability of the labor force, agricultural productivity, and therefore, food security and livelihoods. This again jeopardizes the livelihoods of vulnerable groups, such as AIDS orphans, who are not endowed with the capability and skills to manage farms and are thus exposed to poverty and hunger.
- Improve nutrition quality by seeking ways of providing a higher diversity and density of micronutrients in human diets, as well as by reducing food toxins
- Increase the knowledge on nutrition patterns and distribution of food and nutrients within social systems with respect to human nutrition across social strata and gender
- Research ways to overcome labor force bottlenecks in farms and households affected by HIV/AIDS or malaria through appropriate technologies