Food & Nutrition Security
(a) Improving nutrition and food security of vulnerable groups:
This component will improve smallholder farmer access to start-up materials to increase household production of nutritious foods, while implementing targeted nutrition and health education through schools and community-based agriculture extension and health services to build demand for these products.
Activities to be financed under this sub component include:
- Mobilization of school-based farmer’s groups to lead school demonstration gardens;
- Improved linkages between extension workers and farmer’s groups for participatory learning through demonstrations;
- Provision of start-up packages to school-based farmers groups to promote homestead production of micro-nutrient-rich foods
- Income support to stimulate community demonstrations and income generation activities based on production of micro-nutrient-rich foods.
(b)Improving household nutrition and food security through community-led school demonstration gardens;
This sub-component will promote homestead production of micro nutrient-rich foods (i.e. bio-fortified crop varieties, backyard fruit and vegetable production, and poultry and small livestock husbandry) through:
- Social mobilization and training of farmers groups through community-led school demonstration gardens;
- Increasing smallholder access to agriculture extension services to improve transfer of information, knowledge, and technologies;
- Establishing community-based multiplication and distribution of improved seeds;
- Establishing community-based breeding and distribution of improved small livestock and poultry;
- Improved delivery of demand-driven advisory services on soil and water management and use of labour-saving technologies for backyard gardens; and
- Post-harvest value added processing and storage. Demand for these products will be stimulated through community-based mobilization and education to improve nutrition.
Activities to be financed under this sub-component for improved mobilization and education for nutrition include:
- Improved linkages between Village Health Teams trained in nutrition and farmer groups;
- Behavior Change Communication (BCC) delivered to school-based farmer groups to promote hygiene, sanitation, use of relevant health services, and high-impact nutrition actions;
- School-based agriculture and nutrition education for schoolchildren, using school based farms and gardens for practical activities;
- packages for schools to support nutrition education, including BCC materials items to demonstrate food preparation and food safety, water, sanitation and hygiene.
Reasons for selection of these activities: Existing agricultural advisory services are focused on staple crops and commodities, and there is virtually no information available to smallholder farmers on how to improve their micro-nutrient consumption, despite the serious level of micro-nutrient deficiencies in Uganda. Home gardens, particularly when accompanied by small livestock rearing, are proven to improve nutrition beyond diversifying home production, community engagement on nutrition is key because household decisions relevant to nutrition (e.g. intra-household food distribution, child feeding, sanitation, crops, etc.) are influenced by the opinion leaders and the broader community. Furthermore, this approach will engage schoolchildren and youth, the next generation of parents and farmers, in improved agricultural and nutrition practices.
LEADERSHIP & IMPLEMENTATION ARRANGEMENTS
The programme leadership uses local government level structures. At the sub-county level there is coordinating officer appointed by the sub-county chief. At school level, the schools elect a committee of Lunch4Learning. The committee comprises of the head teachers, teachers’ representative, parents representative, Agricultural extension worker and the in-charge of the health centre at the Sub-County.