Building bridges in global health
The overall goal of the project is to improve nutrition and health outcomes of populations in the Caribbean through an integrated, gender equal, environmentally sustainable systems approach to food availability, safety and quality. Through a combination of socio-economic and community surveys, field research, and nutrition interventions in schools, the project addresses problems of land and water degradation, inefficient pre- and post harvest practices that underlie food and nutrition security, characterized by rising prevalence of chronic non-communicable diseases. Innovations in inclusive market oriented development, and environmental management will lead to policy changes, aimed at securing the food supply through improved marketing structures, in an environmentally sustainable manner. The project is regional in nature, and piloted in four countries (Guyana, Trinidad, St. Lucia, St. Kitts). It is multidisciplinary in scope, and its scientific merit lies in a “systems approach” of linking agriculture to health. The project benefits include human development through education and community sensitization programs, for a range of stakeholders. A major expected outcome is a change in consumer behaviour to the consumption of a more diversified diet of fruits and vegetables.