Tackling malnutrition through nutrition-sensitive agriculture

Musanze: Rwanda is experiencing the burden of malnutrition and it remains a national challenge. According to the 2015 Rwanda Demographic and Health Survey, chronic malnutrition or stunting stood at 38% in 2015.

The link between agriculture and nutrition may seem intuitive; however, both sectors have long acted separately. Now, there is a growing understanding that nutrition and agriculture must work together to have the greatest impact in ending malnutrition for people in rural areas who mostly rely on agriculture for their livelihoods and well-being. About 80 percent of Rwandans in rural areas depend on agriculture.

Through nutrition-sensitive agriculture, tackling malnutrition is possible, if nutrition is mainstreamed into relevant sectors.

Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), through the joint nutrition project titled “Effectively fighting chronic malnutrition in Rwanda” phase II focusing on institutional capacity building, will be providing institutional capacity development on nutrition-sensitive agriculture and food systems to National institutions, and districts for effective mainstreaming of Nutrition in their relevant policies, plans and programmes.

It is in this regard that about 42 national level specialist and officers will undergo a week-long training on how to maximize agriculture and food systems sector’s contribution to address nutrition related challenges in Rwanda.

The training will be officiated in Musanze on February 19 by the Permanent Secretary in the MINAGRI, Jean Claude Musabyimana, and the FAO Representative in Rwanda, Gualbert Gbehounou. (End)