Diverse pathways to nourishment: Understanding how agricultural biodiversity enhances food security and nutrition

This project aims to understand how agrobiodiversity and food and nutrition security relationship develops in specific agroecological, sociocultural, and policy contexts.

  • 2018 - present
  • SESYNC, Annalapolis, USA

Study Area:

Central America, West Africa, Andes, and Appalachia


There is a growing research consensus that agrobiodiversity can be an important resource for supporting human food security and nutrition (FSN). This Pursuit proposes to move beyond the question of whether a link between agrobiodiversity and FSN exists, and asks how this relationship develops in specific agroecological, sociocultural, and policy contexts. The team draws together 15 individuals holding a mixture of quantitative and qualitative datasets on agrobiodiversity and FSN in four high-diversity regions: the Bolivian/Peruvian Andes, Southern Mexico, West Africa, and Appalachia. In a series of four meetings, they will jointly analyze questions under the themes of agricultural production, nutrition, sociocultural context, and policy. Synthesizing information from diverse datasets, they will identify key pathways through which agrobiodiversity supports FSN, outline a methodological and conceptual framework for understanding this relationship, and examine the actual and potential roles of agri-food policy in conditioning agrobiodiversity-FSN pathways. This process will result in two outputs: 1) two or more co-authored peer-reviewed articles offering a comparative analysis of pathways by which agrobiodiversity supports FSN in the case-study regions, and 2) an open-access, practitioner-reviewed guidebook, offering a framework for future research and policy efforts to link agrobiodiversity conservation with human nutritional wellbeing.

Project link