Ministry of Agriculture, Irrigation and Water Development in partnership with Farmers Union of Malawi (FUM) on Friday unveiled an Adolescent Nutrition Sensitive Agriculture Pilot Project in Ntchisi.
Speaking during the launch of the $2.7 million (about K2 billion) project, the ministry’s deputy director of agriculture extension services, Anderson Chikomola, said the project is being implemented in collaboration with the Department of Agricultural Research Services, Cgiar and Lilongwe University of Agriculture and Natural Resources (Luanar).
“The project is targeting 6 000 adolescents aged between 10 and 19 in Mwanza and Ntchisi districts. But after three years, it will benefit 33 080 persons through capacity building and nutrition education,” he said.
Chikomola said adolescents will form 300 youth groups comprising 20 youths in each group that will be supervised by peer leaders.
“Adolescents aged between 15 and 19 years will receive agriculture input packages to support household gardens and small livestock rearing.
“The other groups comprising 10 to 14-year-olds will receive interventions on peer education, nutrition, sexual and reproductive health rights and life skills development,” he said.
He said the expected outcome of the project is to enhance consumption of four or more nutrients-rich foods among adolescent youths everyday.
FUM president Alfred Kapichira Banda said Ntchisi and Mwanza are some of the districts with high percentage of children with stunted growth due to lack of iron, zinc and vitamin A.
Traditional Authority Chilooko thanked government and FUM for choosing his area to pilot the project which is funded by Japan Social Development Fund through the World Bank.