Eliminating Food and Nutrition Insecurity
Many households in West Nile region eat only one meal a day. Neither are the meals diversified nor is food shared equitably among men and women. Thus many households fall below the depth of hunger (min. 240 kCal per day). Micronutrient deficiency of especially riboflavin and Vitamin A and B12 and child anaemia and stunting are prevalent. These situations emanate from: (i) the low productivity of subsistence crop and livestock farming; (ii) limited food purchasing power; (iii) inadequate knowledge and skills of good nutrition; and (iv) the adversities of climate change (especially the one reliable rainy season).
Yet, hunger exacts devastating effects on individuals and society besides violating basic human dignity. A 2012 Cost of Hunger in Uganda study estimated that hunger led to 15% of all child mortality, 7% of all repetitions in school, and an accumulated health and education cost of UGX 1.6 billion and UGX 1.1 billion respectively. In 2009 alone hunger denied Uganda about UGX 1.2 trillion development opportunity (or 4% of GDP).
To ensure sustainable farmer-led food and Nutrition security, AFARD promotes Climate-smart and Nutrition-sensitive Agriculture through:
- Gender-sensitive analysis and planning of the farming and feeding practices;
- Strengthening farmer-to-farmer extension system that promotes a sustainable peer learning and innovations;
- Provision of one-off start-up inputs of hybrid, drought, and disease resistant crops and livestock (especially goats and chicken);
- Promotion of agricultural intensification that allows for on-farm risk management and all year round access to adequate food supply;
- Nutrition education of spouses especially in kitchen gardening and food management so as to ensure diet diversification, equitable food sharing among household members and proper food preparation, serving, and storage;
- Supporting community agroforestry initiatives and soil and water conservation for better soil health.