Sapling Thematic Pillars and rationale


A Food Systems Landscaping Analysis was conducted in 2021 that analysed the issues prevalent in each of the SAPLING countries and the South Asian region as a whole, reviewed agriculture and nutrition policies, and identified challenges, gaps, and opportunities with gender and climate as cross-cutting themes.


Agri-food Systems


Post-harvest losses


Improving Food
Safety Standards

Findings of the analysis were presented to a wide range of stakeholders, including government institutions, multilateral and bilateral organisations, research institutions and international/non-governmental organisations (I/NGOs), through multistakeholder workshops. From the long list of key issues and thematic areas of intervention, the participants finally narrowed down to the top 3 priority areas for regional cooperation based on commonality across countries, alignment with policymakers' needs and tangibility of results.


Launched in 2019, the South Asian Policy Leadership for Improved Nutrition and Growth (SAPLING) aims to establish a regional platform for consensus building among stakeholders to combat malnutrition through evidence-based policy and action. The initiative addresses common challenges in South Asian countries' food systems by synthesizing evidence, promoting best practices, and supporting policy leadership. SAPLING's primary goal is to enable a 'food systems' approach to address malnutrition in its priority countries, Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Nepal and Sri Lanka.



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