NCBA CLUSA working on project to improve nutrition in Senegal

The scheme will run through 2022, with the goal of reaching over half a million children under the age of five

The US co-op apex body NCBA CLUSA says it is continuing its development work in Senegal to develop a system of “nutrition-led agriculture”.

This follows the announcement of a new $40m Feed the Future project, funded by the US Agency for International Development (USAID).

The Feed the Future Senegal Cultivating Nutrition Project began last month and will run through 2022, with the goal of reaching over half a million children under the age of five and their families with nutrition interventions.

It will focus on nutrition and will build on the foundation of the Feed the Future Yaajeende programme, which reduced child stunting by 30% and poverty by 7% in 800 villages; this lifted approximately 56,000 people above the poverty line, despite four years of recurrent drought and weather crises.

Senegal has made great progress in the fight against child undernutrition, according to a 2017 study by the International Food Policy Research Institute, and the Feed the Future Cultivating Nutrition project will build on this.

“We are very excited that this new project will allow more Senegalese households and communities to build on what we have learned in addressing undernutrition,” said Amy Coughenour Betancourt, NCBA CLUSA’s chief operating officer for international programs.

The new project will see NCBA CLUSA train and support local institutions to lead their own community development. It hopes this will allow communities “to sustainably increase consumption of nutritious and safe diets”.

Other goals are to increase the supply of diverse, micro-nutrient rich foods, increased resilience and income and increased adoption of nutrition and care practices.

The project aims to improve the governance of food systems in 3,500 villages across 150 communes in 10 regions – reaching 285,000 households and 2.8 million people over five years.

The project will build out a food systems approach pioneered by the Yaajeende Project – Nutrition Led Agriculture, which “integrates nutrition at every point of the agriculture value chain”.

This will involve partnerships with local, regional and national private and public sector organisations including mother’s groups, citizen working groups, community-based solution Providers, businesses and research institutions.

Partners with NCBA CLUSA on the programme are Hellen Keller International, JSI Research and Training Institute, Inc, Sheladia Associates and Dimagi.