CONSTANCE REIF, STEFAN SIEBER, MICHELLE BONATTI, CHRISTINE LAMBERT, HANS KONRAD BIESALSKI, HADIJAH MBWANA, KHAMALDIN DAUD MUTABAZI
Leibniz Centre for Agricultural Landscape Research (ZALF), Inst. of Socio-Economics, Germany
University of Hohenheim, Inst. of Biological Chemistry and Nutrition, Germany
Sokoine University of Agriculture, Food Science and Technology, Tanzania
Food and nutrition security is still one of the most pressing challenges to constantly growing populations in Sub-Saharan Africa. The nutritional situation in Tanzania has only slightly improved in the last decade despite high rates of economic growth. The share of the population with insufficient available calories for consumption was found to be higher than 20% and stunting prevalence of 40% in children 5 years are reported. To improve the nutritional status of Tanzania's local poor, the Scale-N project funded by the Federal Ministry of Food and Agriculture aims to safeguard food and nutrition security by supporting the development of diversified and sustainable agriculture. Scale-N will perform in regions with highest need: the semi-humid Morogoro and the semi"=arid Dodoma region. The participatory research design of Scale-N targets the above problems by applying a holistic integrated approach while using and linking to the existing analytical research framework Trans-SEC.
The project aims at ameliorating the critical food security situation and nutritional status of the rural poor in Tanzania. Following the core principles of participatory and collaborative research, a network of scientists, stakeholders and policy makers endeavours to develop integrated solutions and upgrading strategies along local and regional food value chains after thoroughly analysing nutritional gaps and drivers for food insecurity. Scale-N is designed to empower women and build the capacity of vulnerable rural communities to shape a sustainable future.
Scale-N will establish participatory mechanisms for local stakeholder feedback and involvement as well as an inter- and transdisciplinary German-Tanzanian research & development network. Following in-depth analysis of the nutritional/ health status of the local population as well as key value chain components, nutrient"=dense plant"=derived foods, their growth and production requirements and processing techniques will be identified. Specific target groups will receive education on improved nutrition and sustainable agricultural practices. After successfully testing innovations, they will be communicated broadly and up"=scaled in a wider spatial context.
Keywords: Food and nutrition security, nutrition education, nutrition value chains, participatory action research