Over 69,000 households in Malawi have benefited from the nutrition sensitive agriculture, which encourages farming of food crops that make up six food groups people in the country require to meet their daily nutritional needs.
According to the government of Malawi, the country’s six food groups comprise legumes, vegetables, fats, animal source foods, staples and fruits.
However, nutrition sensitive agriculture does not only encourage growing crops of these six food groups, but also educates people to consider good nutrition as a routine.
The initiative is undoubtedly inevitable in one of the world’s poorest countries where stunting is highly prevalent due to poor nutrition.
Apparently, this is an approach the Kulima Better Extension Training Transforming Economic Returns (Better) program uses to effectively implement its nutrition intervention among people in Malawi.
The Kulima Better program, currently working with 2, 400 farmer field schools, also ensures that farmers practice farming methodologies that are resilient to effects of climate change.
It also seeks to ensure food and income security through crop diversification.
The European Development Fund (EDF) funded project is being implemented in 10 districts. across Malawi by five organisations with Self Help Africa (Malawi) leading them.
The other four organisations are Adventist Devevelopment Relief Agency, ActionAid and Evangelical Association of Malawi.
Speaking during the 2019 first quarter review meeting in Malawi’s Capital Lilongwe, Nutrition Advisor at Self Help Africa, Virginia Kwizombe, said the Nutrition Sensitive Agriculture approach is registering significant progress because Malawians are easily following nutrition order through this initiative.
“Research has shown that if you just tell people to eat six food groups without giving them the tools, change of behavior cannot come just like that. We are giving farmers the required inputs and necessary education to come up with the best out of their undertakings. It is either they directly consume their produce or sell it to have enough money to buy all the required six food groups,” she said.
According to Kwizombe, the project is expected to to reach out to over 400,000 households in a period spanning 5 years beginning last year.
Peter Soko, Program Manager for Kulima Better at Self Help Africa, concurred with Kwizombe on the successes of the program, adding that farmers are acquiring hands on skills on different technologies they could use on their farms when faced with climate shocks.
“This helps them to enhance their agricultural productivity and also production,” said Soko.
He added: “In terms of agriculture diversification, farmers are growing different types of crops, studying on different crops and animals. To us, we feel we are on the right track to achieving what we want.”Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :