Business

Swiss agency to fight malnutrition

GREVA Mwale - wife Jennipher - farmer

KELLY NJOMBO, Lusaka
THE Swiss Agency for Development and Co-operation is pioneering an empowerment scheme to reduce malnutrition in Zambia and Uganda through access to nutritious crops from smallholder farmers.
In Zambia, the programme is being conducted through SNV Zambia, a Netherlands development organisation.
The innovative model called Sustainable Nutrition 4 All (SN4A) is a holistic approach aimed at addressing factors that lead to malnutrition, such as lack of access to a variety of foods, lack of knowledge of the benefits of a diverse diet, cultural norms and traditions that govern which foods should be eaten by different members of a household.
According to information availed to the Daily Mail recently, SNV says SN4A will simultaneously improve nutrition by building the capacity of communities and that improved nutrition outcomes will be addressed by encouraging the adoption of agro-biodiversity at household levels.
“The SN4A approach induces behavioural change by triggering an understanding of the critical factors for improved nutrition, with a special focus on intra-household gender relations, and encourages community adoption of agro-biodiversity and improved dietary diversity. SN4A also increases local demand for more nutritious foods, while improving the supply of nutrient-rich vegetables from smallholder farmers, and increasing national governance capacity,” the statement says.
The statement says SNV builds farmers’ capacity for climate-smart and nutrition-sensitive agriculture to ensure a local supply of diverse affordable foods among the people if nutrition levels are to reduce.
SNV says nearly half of Zambia’s under-five children suffer from stunted growth and mental development due to malnutrition, which is caused by inadequate vitamin and mineral consumption.
SNV says strengthening national governance capacity for intra-household dietary diversity and improved nutrition is also vital in reducing malnutrition.

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