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Poole, Nigel, Amiri, Habiba, Amiri, Sardar Muhammad, Farhank, Islamudin and Zanello, Giacomo (2019) 'Food production and consumption in Bamyan Province, Afghanistan: the challenges of sustainability and seasonality for dietary diversity.' International Journal of Agricultural Sustainability, 17 (6). pp. 413-430.

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In Asia, high levels of malnutrition threaten the health and livelihoods of millions of households. This paper concentrates on linkages between agriculture and nutrition in Afghanistan where food and nutrition insecurity are increasing and agricultural sustainability is increasingly compromised by climate change. We explore seasonal patterns of food production and consumption in the remote and robust ecological environment of Shah Foladi, Bamyan Province. Analysis of qualitative data from household interviews in eight villages has provided a wealth of insights into the seasonality of diets. Even within a broadly homogeneous environment, households were found to be markedly heterogeneous in respect of their assets, production, market, finance and employment strategies. The so-called ‘lean season’ was found to vary accordingly. Nevertheless, a general lack of dietary diversity during much of the year is likely to cause micronutrient malnutrition, especially for the vulnerable groups of children, adolescent girls and women. Potential interventions are proposed which need to account for the local context in order to overcome the natural and political constraints. These strategies include agricultural innovation and multi-sectoral policy approaches. In the end, reducing national insecurity is a pre-requisite for sustainable improvement in nutrition-sensitive agricultural development.

Item Type: Journal Article
Keywords: Seasonality, agriculture, nutrition, Afghanistan, dietary diversity, ‘lean season’, markets, employment, finance, multi-sectoral policies
SOAS Departments & Centres: Departments and Subunits > Interdisciplinary Studies > Centre for Development, Environment and Policy
ISSN: 14735903
Copyright Statement: © 2019 The Author(s). This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives License (, which permits non-commercial re-use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited, and is not altered, transformed, or built upon in any way.
DOI (Digital Object Identifier):
Date Deposited: 08 Oct 2019 11:54
Funders: Other

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