Identifying sustainable technologies that help address the problem of malnutrition
With the United Nations discussing the adoption of Sustainable Development Goals for the post-2015 era, sustainability is back on the world development agenda. Indicators to monitor development for sustainability at the global or national level have been developed in the past. However, little research has been conducted to identify agricultural sustainability at the technology level, although only these technologies will be worthwhile promoting in the future. To assess specific innovations on their sustainability and productivity-enhancing effects, an analytical framework was developed. It comprises all relevant sustainability criteria and was validated through an expert consultation process. In this study, the framework was applied to two productivity-enhancing horticultural innovations contributing to healthy nutrition. The two innovations assessed are suitable specifically for poor and vulnerable people in developing countries, namely riverbed vegetable farming (Nepal) and vegetable production in sacks (Bangladesh). For the assessment process based on the framework, experts were asked to provide information on selected criteria determining the environmental resilience, economic viability, social acceptability and technical appropriateness of an innovation. Additional field studies were conducted for the two selected innovations between March and December 2013 to comprehensively validate the information provided by experts. Composite sustainability indicators were calculated based on the analytical framework with the addition of nutrition-related criteria. Results are presented graphically and compared with reference technologies. The analytical framework is discussed in terms of its applicability to horticultural innovations from the tropics with a data-scarce background.
Kriesemer, S.K., Schiller, K., Virchow, D. and Jordan, I. (2016). Identifying sustainable technologies that help address the problem of malnutrition. Acta Hortic. 1128, 29-34
composite sustainability indicator, healthy diet, analytical framework, criteria weights, food and nutrition security