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Agribusiness and Public Health

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Agribusiness and Public Health

The roadmap of Agribusiness can align human biology and modern lifestyles, prevent spread of non communicable diseases and harness the power to reduce poverty and hunger. The ecological principles and natural systems of agriculture and farming need careful management to promote health.


In 1957, Goldberg and Davis coined the term Agribusinessfor business related to agricultural production. It includes crop production, animal breeding, machinery and agrichemicals, processing farm products, seed supply along with distribution, marketing and sales. Just like other major industry, farming has grown larger, more productive and specializedto produce less desirable by-products. Farmers to avoid loss of livelihood used animal manure as primary means of renewing and managing soil fertility. Long term productivity got divorced from its animal origin with the advent of cheap and effective synthetic herbicides and fertilizers. Large scale plant production increased economies across the world by liberal application of fossil fuel based fertilizers to crop fields. Animal operations are mono-cultured and more dependent on commodity derived feed.

Agribusiness on Public Health

Agriculture is a fundamental activity to sustain large societies that have come to cause environmental and public health risks.Large-scale use of antibiotics in confined livestock production can pose a riskto human populations on entering groundwater. Cumulative and accelerated misalignment between conditions of modern industrial society and human biology due to obesity and non communicable chronic diseases such as cardiovascular disease, diabetes and cancer is responsible for rising deaths in low and middle income countries. This imposes and increases burden on agriculture, health and wealth systems threatening the economic viability in government organizations, market and civil society worldwide.
Negative health outcomes of western environment, diet and lifestyle convergence has left the poorest populations behind in terms of nutritional deficiency and hunger. Low consumption of healthy foods is major global cause and key dietary contributor of malnutrition that has resulted in poor health leading to death and low economic productivity. Domestic supply is limited and costs to consumers relatively high due to wastage and high post-harvest losses. Consumer choices ina specific food environment are influenced by personal and external factors of accessibility, desirability, convenience, affordability, availability and marketing of foods. A wide range of policies influence the processing, production, transport, wholesale and retail marketing food practices across multiple sectors.
Farm activities by various agriculture holders forge urban and rural links for sustainable nutrition security. Global food systems are required to deliver diverse, high quality and affordable healthy food. Qualitative policy analysis, global priority to food supply challenges, understanding of political dynamics and food policy learning engenders agricultural policy change for nutrition to improve access to affordable food in low and middle income countries. To create food environments that foster better consumer access to healthy foods require coordinated policy action by stakeholders on national and state level within government, private sector and non-government agencies of health, agriculture and other sectors. Strategic Public-Private Partnerships can improve consumer food environment; link health, economic and agricultural policy agendas; increase access to diverse expertise across the supply chain and strengthen surveillance of policy impacts on consumers. Collaboration across all sectors is needed to identify contextually appropriate or feasible policy recommendations and strategies with the ultimate objective of improving nutrition and external food environment.

Online Course at JLI

James Lind Institute (JLI) provides online programs in Public Health, Occupational Health and Environmental Health.
JLI also provides online programs in Agribusiness Management with a special focus on the integration of Agricultural Sciences with Public Health.
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