Private business-driven value chains and nutrition: insights from India

Private business-driven value chains and nutrition: insights from India

Despite rapid economic growth, undernutrition rates in South Asia remain among the highest in the world. It is also seen that both rural and urban populations in developing countries are increasingly dependent on markets for food. This makes examining the potential of different agri‑food models to deliver nutritious foods relevant.

This article examines the value chains of two fortified foods manufactured by private sector business in India using the conceptual framework in Maestre, Poole and Henson (2017), to understand their potential to reach economically poor households. We find that both value chains have potential but are unsuccessful in reaching nutritionally vulnerable populations. In both cases, a favourable institutional environment can enable them to have a pro‑nutrition and pro-poor focus. A proactive state role and regulation are called for to provide the necessary institutional environment to ensure that private business-led value chains focus on enhanced intake of nutritious food by low-income households.

This article is taken from IDS Bulletin 49:1.

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