In Uganda, subsistence farming by smallholders currently accounts for 96% of all farm production, a quarter of total GDP, employs over two-third of workers, and earns over 40% of household income. The primary focus of Ugandan agricultural policy has been on increasing productivity and commercialization of staple foods and cash crops to raise the income of farmers. At the same time, stunting affects one in three children (over 2.1 million children) in Uganda— higher than its immediate neighbors, some of whom have lower per capita income. Undernutrition disproportionately affects rural areas, where rates of stunting are over 36% compared to 19% in urban areas. When malnutrition strikes children in the first 1,000 days of their lives, it stunts their bodies and minds, impairing human development potential and ultimately, their ability to contribute to the economic growth of their countries in adulthood. The annual costs associated with child undernutrition are estimated at 5.6% of GDP.
Uganda’s Multisectoral Food Security and Nutrition Project (UMFSNP) increases the production and consumption of micronutrient rich foods, including African indigenous vegetables, high-iron beans, and orange-flesh sweet potatoes as well as increase the use of community-based nutrition services in smallholder households in project areas. The focus is on promoting short-term changes in high-impact nutrition behaviors and practices that are known to contribute to the medium- and long-term reduction of stunted growth in young children. UMFSNP distributes 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. The project also supports community-led school demonstration gardens, the education of women’s groups, and the scaling up of micronutrient supplementation.
- World Bank
So far, 768,000 people, 15 percent of whom are women, have benefited from the project. The project is expected to reach 1,140,000 people, 28 percent of whom will be women. The project targets smallholder households around participating public primary schools in selected districts. Primary beneficiaries include vulnerable populations of pregnant and lactating women and children under the age of two, as well as primary school children, parent groups, and farmers. To date, 107,812 children under two years old have participated in the growth monitoring and promotion activity, 10,500 farmers have multiplied or produced 36,000 kilograms of micronutrient rich seed/planting materials, 30,469 girls (4th grade and above) have received weekly iron folic acid supplements through primary schools, 426,086 people have received improved nutrition services such as training in breastfeeding practices, health care, post-natal care, maternal nutrition care, and 1,600 cooking demonstrations have been carried out in communities. Finally, 3,000 parent groups have been established, which have trained 26,400 women in nutrition sensitive agriculture.
Senior Nutrition Specialist & Task Team Leader
Based in Washington, D.C.
Official Project Documents:
- GAFSP Proposal
- Cover Letter
- Endorsements from the Country and the Supervising Entity
- CAADP Compact
- Agriculture and Food Strategy and Investment Plan (supporting document: Nutrition Action Plan)
- Technical Peer Review Document