On the 18 of March 2021, Growth through Nutrition members joined a Feed the Future initiatives experience-sharing visit focused on implementation, technical aspects, and best practices in the Sokicha and Wonago kebeles of the SNNP and Sidama regions.
IR1. Increasing access to diverse, safe and quality foods
The project aims to promote access to nutritious and productive varieties of vegetables, fruits, legumes, bio-fortified crops and small livestock. Support areas include better use of inputs and cultivation practices, increased market availability of diverse foods, and addressing concerns of food safety and post-harvest losses. Emphasis will be placed on diversification of crop production and animal husbandry while food safety activities will focus on the prevention and control of potential health hazards. Food quality will address inputs and cultivation practices that influence a product’s value to the consumer and post-harvest handling will focus on reduction of losses.
The project will scale-up livelihoods and economic strengthening activities for Most Vulnerable Households (MVHHs) building on ENGINE’s successful work. In collaboration with partners, production activities will be developed and implemented through GoE systems while also capitalizing on the private sector. Activities will link with SBCC to increase the consumption of promoted foods and the adoption of improved hygiene and handling practices (see IR2).
Project activities aim to improve the nutritional status of women and children through increased dietary diversity and ensuring that a minimum acceptable diet for children is met at the household level. Specific implementation objectives under IR1 include:
- Adoption of sustainable approaches for production of diverse crops and livestock
- Adoption of innovative technologies for preparation, processing, preservation, and storage of safe, nutrient dense foods
- Strengthening government systems and private sector linkages
Key Progress in Project Year II
The project trained 15,407 development agents (DAs), model farmers, teachers and most vulnerable households (MVHHs) on agriculture productivity with an emphasis on Nutrition Sensitive Agriculture (NSA).
To ensure dietary diversity of women and children, Growth through Nutrition provided a package of livelihood support (seeds of selected vegetables and fruits seedlings, basic hand tools for cultivation of homestead gardening, and productive animals) to 13,179 MVHHs and organized MVHHs into 540 village saving and credit groups, which also serve as a platform for SBCC (IR2) activities. The project also completed food safety assessment and piloting post-harvest handling (PHH) technologies.
Key Progress in Project Year III
The project trained 12,310 individuals (10,022 farmers and 2,288 government staff) with short term trainings focused on Nutrition Sensitive Agriculture (NSA) as well as Training Of Trainers for 128 zonal- and woreda-based Agricultural Extension Workers with an improved knowledge level from 56% to 78% according to pre- and post-training test results. The knowledge was cascaded to 2,042 Development Agents.
Additionally the project trained five model farmers per project kebele on skill-based NSA, totaling 2,793 model farmers. Training was also provided for 49 school teachers and woreda education office staff. Growth through Nutriryion provided seeds of vegetables and legumes, fruit seedlings, chicks of a dual purpose and adaptable poultry breed and farm tools to 25 model Farmer’s Training Centers.
Key Progress in Project Year IV
A significant mark of progress in year IV was promoting sustainable approaches of diverse crop production. To transfer knowledge and skill to the government staff, the project provided sustainable crop diversification training to 43 Agricultural Extension Workers.
Another focus for the year was diffusion of better nutrition-sensitive agriculture. The project scaled up this activity through the use of model farmers who promote these practices in their woredas. Growth through Nutrition provided Nutrition Sensitive Agriculture (NSA) Training of Trainers to 43 Agricultural Extension Workers, which was cascaded to over 2,600 Development Agents who trained 3800 model farmers while maintaining COVID-19 infection prevention mechanisms. The method was effective – reaching for example, in the Tigray region 169 non-targeted neighboring farmers.
Through coaching and mentoring, the project supported an additional 1,891 farmers with on-farm guidance on NSA practices. Furthermore, a major issue effecting livelihoods and nutrition is the quality of inputs (i.e. seeds and breeds). To overcome this, the project trained model farmers to capacitate them to start seed distribution businesses in year III, in year IV, 21 model farmers were selected to establish fruit nurseries. Farmer Training Centers (FTCs) continued to play a significant role in promoting improved seeds as well as nutrition behaviors. Growth through Nutrition activity provided inputs (vegetable and fruit seeds and farm tools) to 26 FTCs and organized field days for agronomic trainings and cooking demonstrations.
The project also promoted nutrition sensitive agriculture practices and post harvest technologies which were adopted through schools and field days. 213 participants were reached across 5 field days introducing technologies such as solar drier, zero energy cooling chamber, improved potato harvester, and fermented cottage cheese (Metata Ayib).
Growth through Nutrition Hosts Webinar on the lessons learned in Key Health, Nutrition and Agricultural Services in the face of COVID-19 in Ethiopia
On the 3rd of February, 2021, Growth through Nutrition invited professionals from Ethiopia and beyond to discuss some lessons learned in the health and agriculture sectors during the COVID-19 pandemic. The webinar, which was organized by Tufts University, aimed to highlight key lessons in both sectors by presenting findings from two recent complementary studies on provision of frontline health and agricultural services. Moderated by Rahel Gizaw, Senior Learning Advisor for the Growth through Nutrition Activity, the event featured two speakers Dr.
Webinar: The Role of Animal Source Foods in Nutrition Security, Growth and Early Child Development: Benefits, Opportunities and Challenges
Animal sourced foods (ASFs) are nutrient-dense foods that when consumed in small amounts provide quality protein, vitamins, minerals, and amino acids, and all nutrients critical for growth and early child development. In this webinar, Dr. Shibani Ghosh will examine the role of Animal Source Foods in improving the nutritional status of vulnerable populations, present multi-country analyses assessing the role of the type of ASF and the total number of ASFs, and contextualize the opportunities and challenges in supporting actions promoting its consumption.
Kokebe, whose name means star in Amharic, is one of many MVHHs who have used the resources and knowledge GtN provides to transform their lives. But, what's more, she has taught her neighbor - Weynishet - who has come to emulate Kokebe's activities.
On December 1, 2020 - Tufts University, in collaboration with Save the Children International conducted a webinar and discussed the core elements of food systems, external drivers, and poliitical economy issues that facilitate or impede important changes in food systems. It also covered critical gaps in knowledge regarding the tradeoffs embedded in the SDGs, as well as policies that could bring about dramatic changes in food systems. the major lessons and paths forward in regards to improving food systems transformations to meet nutritional needs in a sustainable manner.
Implications of COVID-19 on Nutrition: Lessons Learned and Practical & Innovative Approaches - Perspectives from Civil Society, Government, and Academia - Webinar Summary Notes
The novel coronavirus is imposing unprecedented health, nutrition, social, and economic risks to the global population. Ethiopia is also being affected, and the continued spread of the virus has the potential to reverse some of the nutritional gains that the country has achieved in the last few years.
The United Nations is convening a Food Systems Summit in September 2021, bringing together Heads of State, Country Delegates, policy officials and a range of other stakeholders. A major goal of the Summit will be the identification of strategies to effectively transform food systems to achieve many of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
Since Birke Abera's husband Yohanis received awareness about child feeding practices, he has gone out of his way to support his wife where he can and they have learned to discuss and agree on their family's activities. Empowered by this new knowledge, the duo has transformed the fate of their family from being nutritionally vulnerable to capable of providing a healthy and nutritious to their son consistently.
Success Story - Tomorrow’s success – how a saving group transformed Kemeru Abdela’s life for the better
When Kemeru Abdela became a project beneficiary, she and her husband were living on a meager production and supporting their livelihood by working on her neighbors' farms for additional income in Galama Hebano kebele. Since subsequently joining a saving group - Milkaina Boru (which mean's "tomorrow's success"), and receiving livestock from the project - Kemeru proved that better nutrition and health behaviors are very possible, given the right resources and drive.
When chicken dealer Yassid Wedaje participated in a training by Grant under Grant (a Growth through Nutrition initiative) last year, he had no idea it would impact his family. He has since implemented better nutritional habits in his own home, seeing the improvement in his children.