While the rates of overweight and obesity are growing in low-, middle- and high-income countries due to overconsumption of calories and physical inactivity, persistent rates of micronutrient deficiencies exist across many populations. These growing public health challenges require unique interventions across many settings. The Agriculture & Food Systems Institute is committed to improving nutrition and health through cross-disciplinary research, with a particular focus on improving the accessibility of food composition and dietary intake data, open data and methods harmonization, and the drivers of food choice.

Collaborators & Partners

Crop Composition Working Group, USDA National Institute of Food and Agriculture, University of Florida, International Food Policy Research Institute, University of Arkansas, University of Illinois, World Agricultural Economic and Environmental Services, and Washington State University

Current Programs

The Agriculture & Food Systems Institute's active programs related to sustainable nutrition security include:

Fruit & Vegetable Supply Chains: Climate Adaptation & Mitigation Opportunities

The Agriculture & Food Systems Institute is co-leading a project that will help the US maintain a nutritious, reliable, affordable, and environmentally-sound food supply.

Crop Composition Database

The Agriculture & Food Systems Institute’s CCDB is a curated, open resource that provides data on the natural variability in the nutritional composition (e.g., nutrients, anti-nutrients, and secondary metabolites) of key crop species.

World Nutrient Databases for Dietary Studies

The Agriculture & Food Systems Institute has compiled a catalogue of national, regional, and international food composition databases used for dietary assessments. This interactive, online resource is available to the public.

Past Work

The Agriculture & Food Systems Institute's concluded projects in the area of sustainable nutrition security include:


One CGIAR Global Webinar Series on Genome Editing in Agriculture: Innovations for Sustainable Production and Food Systems

Dr. Morven McLean, Chief Executive Officer, Dr. Vibha Ahuja, South Asia Biosafety Program Senior Advisor, and AFSI Trustee, Dr. Mark Rosegrant, participated as speakers in a webinar series organized to bring CGIAR centers and partners together with policy makers, academics, innovators, and other stakeholders to take stock of current research and applications of genome editing and address related topics that will impact the enabling environment needed to translate research into practice.

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Produce Marketing Association Virtual Town Hall: Resource Scarcity

Dr. Rachel Melnick, Senior Scientific Program Manager, served as a panelist for a virtual town hall focused on soil and water health hosted by the Produce Marketing Association.

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Virtual Workshop for the Climate Adaptation and Mitigation in Fruit and Vegetable Supply Chains Project

Due to the COVID-19 global emergency, the 4th Annual Workshop for the Climate Adaptation and Mitigation in Fruit and Vegetable Supply Chains was shifted to an online format and took place on July 23-24, 2020.

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Climate Adaptation and Mitigation Opportunities In Fruit and Vegetable Supply Chains

Dr. Dave Gustafson delivered a presentation about the Fruit and Vegetable Supply Chains: Climate Adaptation and Mitigation Opportunities project as part of the session on Improving the Simulation of Climate Impacts on Agriculture at the 2019 Fall Meeting of the American Geophysical Union.

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Extreme Weather and Resilience of the Global Food System

Extreme weather and resilience of the global food system (2015). Final Project Report from the UK-US Taskforce on Extreme Weather and Global Food System Resilience, The Global Food Security programme, UK. Dr. Dave Gustafson, Director, CIMSANS, Agriculture & Food Systems Institute is a co-author of the report.

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Assessing Sustainable Nutrition Security: The Role of Food Systems

This working paper explores the key domains of sustainable nutrition security (SNS).

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Climate Adaptation Imperatives: Untapped Global Maize Yield Opportunities

In this article, the authors discuss the difference between observed yields and those achievable by optimized crop production methods, or yield gap, for maize.

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Climate Adaptation Imperatives: Global Sustainability Trends and Eco-efficiency Metrics in Four Major Crops – Canola, Cotton, Maize, and Soybeans

This paper presents national-level eco-efficiency metrics in several representative production countries during the most recent decade (2000–2010) for four important crops: canola, cotton, maize, and soybeans.

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Navigating New Risk Landscapes & Opportunities in Global Food Systems

The Knowledge Systems for Sustainability Collaborative and the Tällberg Foundation met in Tällberg, Sweden discuss how public and private sector groups can work together to improve sufficiency and resilience in agriculture and food systems. These proceedings summarize those discussions and outline next steps.

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