During our studies and life experiences, we learnt what hunger is; now we want to fight it. We engage in founding a seed bank and launch locally supported agrosilvopastoral systems, to enhance women’s and children’s micronutrient status.
Which problem do we aim to solve and why?
Malnutrition is a precursor for life achievements, health and education. If not properly addressed its burden cascades from one generation to the next and from one sector to the other. Côte d’Ivoire appears among the top 20 countries affected by lack of micronutrients such as zinc, iron and vitamin A. We aim at improving in the short and long term, the nutritional status of women and children in the Sassandra region by enhancing micronutrient rich food sources to reduce stunting among children and increase BMI among women. We will also improve soil fertility and empower women.
Our team believes that a healthy mother is likely to give birth to a healthy child. This could impact the next generation’s performances, the educational status and the local economy; mothers are hence our target population. Inputs and knowledge availability are limiting factors. We opt to work on resources and activities over which women have control and plan to implement small scale agricultural systems under conservation agriculture practices with improved management. Nutrient cycling will be maintained on-site as well as improved through legume’s nitrogen fixation and bio-fertilizers. The systems will comprise of high iron beans and chicken eggs as a source of protein, green leafy vegetables such as taro, kplala, for vitamins and multipurpose trees. We will invest in seeds; seedlings and fertilized eggs will be promulgated to beneficiaries through workshops. We will collaborate with local nutrition and agriculture development offices as well as international agencies. Beneficiary’s project engagement will be rewarded by mobile air time and prizes for the top performing mothers will be available. Active communication with beneficiaries by SMS is expected.
Why is our approach particularly innovative and novel?
We will collaborate with local authorities and international NGOs; being accepted locally is one of the project’s priorities. We will then promote the project and select targeted women communities to form locally led workshops and seed banks where to exchange seedlings and knowledge about nutrition, education, soil fertility, crop management (integration of annual, periannual, N fixing crops and beneficial trees) with the addition of a livestock component (rabbits or poultry). Mobile phone updates will inform farmers on atmospheric phenomena, market prices and best practices.
How is our idea feasible?
Much of the projects strength comes from our expertise in the field across different sciences and our engagement to the cause. Feasibility will be reached by partnership building for obtaining improved seeds and local acceptance. Better diets from increased nutritious yields will encourage participant’s engagement. Seeds will be firstly given for free and then a percentage will be kept from each harvest. Results and prizes will ensure beneficiary’s reachability and project continuity. We aim at addressing a country’s burden with an innovative and practical solution.
Which technologies, channels or methods are we planning to use?
Project affirmation through local media coverage, local workshops, direct communication by mobile phones and strong partnerships. Agro-silvopastoral systems development will be given high priority in terms of management and nutrient cycling. Conservation agriculture practices to restore soil fertility to be implemented in line with the SDGs. Harvest and soil data will be recorded. Seed banks with improved varieties to allow farmer’s food sovereignty. Participant’s health status will be monitored and analysed. MSc thesis will be offered. Bicycle donations from Germany.
What outcome and what improvements do we expect? How do we measure these?
Increased availability of diversified foods to translate into increased incomes and/or increased consumption. We will ameliorate the health status by combating anemia among pregnant women and children within the 1000 days’ range, reduce incidence of low birth weights and number of underweight and wasting children and increase BMI scores. Surveys on anthropometry, socioeconomic and dietary impacts will be performed for beneficiaries and a control group before and after the project. Soil and grain samples will be studied. All data will be analysed using STATA and SPSS.
Our budget planning & acquisition of potential partners
Budget estimate: seeds 4300euros, extension and health officers 500euros, workshop and extension education 1000euros, prize for best performing households 200euro, surveys 2000euros, contingency 1000euro, translator.
Top partners: University of Hohenheim; University of Abobo Adjamé Department of Sciences and Nature-Unité de Formation et de Recherche des Sciences de la Nature; CIMMYT and cgiar; USDA-WFP McGovern-Dole Food for Education Program; Ivory Coast Ministry of Agriculture, CNRA, SODEPRA and CIDV; HarvestPlus
|Team:||Yulduz Abdullayeva, Bezawit Adugna Bahru, Ferdinando Binacchi and Serjio Alberto Naranjo Macias.|