Global Issues

Food Security & Nutrition

Food security and nutrition have rapidly become a central research theme for CIFOR, which is taking part in several major policy processes on the dietary contribution of forests and trees.

A new research portfolio

CIFOR has consolidated a portfolio of eight research projects related to food security, nutrition and sustainable agriculture, all in the context of forests and trees. Four are global in scope and four are focused on regions in Africa.

A series of publications

In 2013, CIFOR and its partners published seven journal articles and a discussion paper on forests, food and nutrition. Another series of papers is underway. Other organizations have already started to pick up the research and report on it.

Funding partners

UK Government via Department for International Development (DfID), the US Agency for International Development (USAID), the Austrian Development Agency (ADA) and Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, Ireland (Irish Aid).

“Through its work and its profile, CIFOR has moved trees and forests onto the agricultural agenda and has come to be recognized as a leading contributor to the debate on forests, food security and nutrition.”

Terry Sunderland, CIFOR Principal Scientist

A growing international profile

Researchers from CIFOR were invited in 2013 to lead sections of a global systematic review by the International Union of Forest Research Organizations (IUFRO) looking at the value of trees for food security. The review will continue throughout 2014.

CIFOR was a partner in the UN Food and Agriculture Organization’s International Conference on Forests for Food Security and Nutrition, in May 2013. CIFOR and its partners wrote three background papers for the conference and contributed to the resulting policy statement.

Wild Food

Proportions of essential micronutrients in the diet contributed by wild foods in Tanzania



Powell et al. Wild foods from farm and forest in the East Usambara Mountains, Tanzania. Ecol Food Nutr

“[We found that] children in Africa who live in areas with more tree cover have more diverse and nutritious diets.”

Ickowitz et al. Dietary quality and tree cover in Africa. Global Env Change