Organisation - May 30, 2013

Companies to tackle hidden hunger

Joris Tielens

Development projects link food quality with agriculture.
'Unique that the government invests in this.'

Many people in Africa and Asia get enough to eat but their food lacks sufficient micronutrients, leading to infant mortality, stunted growth and disease. With the Amsterdam Initiative against Malnutrition (AIM), a Dutch alliance of companies and development organizations wants to change this. Wageningen UR is on board. AIM is starting with 10 projects in which the ministry of Foreign Affairs is investing 11 million euros. The project fits well in Minister Ploumen's new policy, which allocates a big role to Dutch companies.
Inge Brouwer, a researcher at the Human Nutrition division: 'In the old days a lot of projects addressed nutrition only. There were then separate projects aiming to increase agricultural production. In AIM we bring agriculture and nutrition together and work to raise the production of healthy food.' An example: promoting healthier vegetables among farmers in East Africa. AIM targets market-oriented solutions. Wageningen UR is going to investigate the scope for implementing the business cases on a larger scale. AIM is attracting a lot of admiration internationally, says Brouwer: 'it is really unique in the world for a government to be investing in this.'