The paper analyses the food and nutrition security (FNS) governance in some net food importing countries by looking at how the multidimensional nature of FNS challenges is addressed in policy-making processes. Two countries are particularly studied, Burkina Faso and Ethiopia, where the two authors work and where in-depth interviews have been conducted. Complementary insights are given from Benin and Kenya to support our results. The main argument developed is that FNS policies have a strong inertia around agricultural production issues. Historical actors, mainly trained in agriculture, remain predominant in FNS policy-making and tend to raise sectoral agricultural issues. The FNS institutional framework is increasingly fragmented between agriculture, nutrition and social agendas instead of being conducive to the debate of competing visions of FNS and to intersectoral coordination. To some extent, recent changes in trade policies with the decrease of agricultural taxation and strong producer support since the 2007/08 food crisis are now more coherent with production-oriented FNS policies. Intersectoral initiatives are often the result of high-level commitments and/or individual actors. Aid actors play a key role in those initiatives, especially through innovation in their internal organisation to overcome the tendency to work in silos.