A new research initiative, NutriHAF (“Diversifying agriculture for balanced nutrition through fruits and vegetables in multi-storey cropping systems”), will promote the cultivation of vegetables and fruits in Ethiopia and Madagascar to reduce malnutrition, conserve biodiversity and natural resources, and create awareness about the importance of consuming a varied diet.
The Center for Development Research (ZEF, Zentrum für Entwicklungsforschung), the Global Horticultural Initiative (GlobalHort) and KoGa are leading the project consortium. Eleven other partners, including AVRDC – The World Vegetable Center Eastern and Southern Africa, will be involved in research and capacity building.
The aim of the research project is to find and introduce varieties of fruit and vegetables capable of improving the nutritional status of the local population. New sources of food and income will help to reduce the pressure on natural resources and prevent resource depletion.
A first step will be to find out more about local food consumption habits to identify seasonal gaps in calorie and nutrient intakes. These gaps will be filled by encouraging consumption of the varieties introduced by the project. Through awareness campaigns for farmers and consumers, and training for local decision makers and extension workers, nutrition and the importance of consuming a diversified diet will be put on the national agenda in each country.
Farmers, policy makers and other actors along the whole value chain will be involved at all stages of the project. Gender issues are a central aspect of the initiative, as women are often responsible not only for cooking but also for food production.
The project is funded by the German Federal Ministry of Food and Agriculture for three years.
The NutriHAF consortium:
ZEF – Zentrum für Entwicklungsforschung (Center for Development Research)
GlobalHort – The Global Horticulture Initiative
KoGa – Kompetenzzentrum Gartenbau
FRC – Forestry Research Center from the Ethiopia Institute of Agricultural Research (EIAR)
CGS – Center for Gender Studies at the Addis Ababa University
FOFIFA – Centre National de la Recherche Appliquée au Développement Rural
FANRPAN – Food, Agriculture and Natural Resources Policy Analysis Network
ASARECA – Association for Strengthening Agricultural Research in Eastern and Central Africa
WHH – Welthungerhilfe (Madagascar)
ECFF – Environment and Coffee Forest Forum
AVRDC – The World Vegetable Center
Horticulture Innovation Lab
IZNE – International Centre for Sustainable Development at the University of Applied Sciences Bonn-Rhein Sieg
UoA – University of Antananarivo