AGP-AMDe beneficiaries almost entirely depend on agriculture for their food and livelihoods. Value chain integrated nutrition interventions enhance the nutritional impact of the programs. When coupled with nutrition education and budgeting for nutritious food purchases, AGP-AMDe activities are better positioned to improve nutrition and food security. The nutrition component is designed to emphasize on maximizing production and consumption of adequate nutritious food, ensuring the quality of foods, investing income for nutritious foods, and women empowerment. In collaboration with agriculture offices and farmers’ cooperative unions (FCUs) the program aims to reach more than 57,000 smallholder farmers with evidence based dietary diversity messages.
Despite the continued promotion of nutrition sensitive agriculture and a national nutrition program being implemented by partners, there is still a demand for nutrition capacity building at both farmer and community leader levels.
As smallholder farmers gain more access to technology, such as better irrigation equipment, they will cultivate more diversified food crops. Knowledge remains the determinant factor for sub-optimal nutrition practices. As long as nutrition education and behavior change communication can be integrated in to the value chains activities, these farmers will have access to knowledge and skills needed to improve their family’s nutritional status.
Household income is the other key determinant of nutritional practices. When smallholder farmers improve income, they also tend to purchase of agricultural inputs and give less emphasis for the food the household consume.
The nutrition trainings had success in disseminating messages on alternative dietary diversity activities such as perma-gardening, intercropping, year-round cropping and home gardening. A substantial number of farmers established home gardens and grow a variety of crops in their farms.
An important challenge is the lack of quality vegetable and fruit seeds for smallholders wishing to start a home garden. Program participants have shown interest for vegetable and fruit seeds and seeds are often unable in their communities. To address the challenge, AGP-AMDe works with the regional agriculture bureaus and agriculture offices to supply seeds. These types of activities will lead to a higher demand for better seed in the future.
AGP-AMDe’s Nutrition Posters were developed to strengthen nutritional training to:
- Help trainers deliver the technical message to Development Agents;
- Enable cooperative leadership to monitor implementation and to impart technical skills to members; and
- Provide SMFM (Sell More For More) project monitoring and evaluation specialists with tools to evaluate the effectiveness of cascade training and the adoption rates among cooperative members.
Here you can download the posters in Ethiopia’s major languages.
STICKS for nutrition SMFM module (English)
STICKS for nutrition SMFM module (Amharic)
STICKS for nutrition SMFM module (Oromifa)
STICKS for nutrition SMFM module (Tigrinya)
Site: AllAfrica News: Ethiopia