Topical Area: Global Nutrition
Objectives : This aim of this ag-nutrition integrated intervention was to contribute to improved dietary diversity (DD), nutrition, food security and incomes of smallholder households (HH) with children under-five years.
Methods : The M&E strategy of the intervention assessed the overall effectiveness and sustainability of the OFSP delivery approach linking agriculture to nutrition behavior change and communication at community level. A total of 140 clubs were established and run by 157 trained community health workers (CHWs) with 2,663 active members. There were 21,876 caregiver attendances to 1,167 club meetings. A total of 27,676 eligible HH received OFSP seeds together with brochures containing messages on OFSP production utilization. Cross-sectional surveys among 549 mother-child (6-59 mos) pairs at baseline and 547 mother-child pairs at endline examined the effect of the project’s intervention on participating HH. The 24-month intervention linked beneficiaries to quality OFSP seed sources, received improved monthly nutrition education at community-level caregivers’ group meetings. Indices were developed to assess HH wealth, child caregivers’ knowledge on VA and nutrition, health seeking behavior and childcare practices, access and frequency of consumption of VA rich foods and, HH and young child DD.
Results : The intervention had a positive impact on production (0.8% at baseline vs 42% at endline; P< 0.001) and consumption (0.4% vs 46%, P< 0.0001) of OFSP. There was a significant 23% (P< 0.001) increase in caregiver knowledge on nutrition and VA. The average health-seeking and childcare knowledge score of caregivers at endline improved by 28% (P< 0.001) compared to baseline. There were improvements in HH DD with 72% increase (P< 0.0001), young child DD at 18% increase (P< 0.01) as well as and young child VA intake between baseline and endline. The project significantly improved food security among beneficiary HH where low food insecurity (score of 0-2) improved from 32% at baseline to 53% during endline (P< 0.0001).
Conclusions : The positive agricultural and nutrition outcomes documented throughout the intervention period was a result of HH members being empowered to adopt OFSP technologies and management practices as well increased active participation in nutrition club meetings.
Funding Sources : Supported by USAID