I personally know what it means to lack nutrients. I aim at establishing a “Fruits and Veggies” pantry in Sembabule to improve micro nutrient access and intake in children and women, as well as empowering them.
The problem I aim to solve
Micro nutrient deficiency, especially for iron and vitamin A deficiency (VAD), is highly prevalent in children and women of Uganda. I would like to tackle vitamin A deficiency because in Uganda, horticulture has grown and there still is room for further growth with surplus harvests of crops like carrots, lettuce, pepper, green leafy vegetables and mangoes. When excess is donated, collected and delivered to the needy, this can help solve VAD.
Healthy eating does not mean just eating enough, but eating a variety of food including vegetables and fruits. Eating fruits and vegetables rich in micro-nutrients and vitamins is necessary for a healthy body and mind in children and women. Vitamin A is required for embryo development, growth, boosting immunity, iron utilization, gene formation, during lactation, and can be provided by diet rich in proactive vitamin A from plants. The project intends to collect and distribute healthy but unmarketable products. It will handle a wide range of donations of high value fruits and veggies rich in micro-nutrients especially vitamin A, from growers of all farm sizes and deliver them to the needy such as schools and charities. The project will arrange gleaning programs, provide transport and storage facilities that ensure safety and efficient handling and distribution. Use of experts to help pupils and teachers learn to garden through technical assistance, practical skill training, provision of seeds, and seminars to change their mind set. It will also provide nutrition education and recipe demonstrations to women through workshops to improve their cooking habits and food knowledge as well as improving diet quality and micro nutrient intake. This will limit the effects of VAD such as blindness, susceptibility to diseases, stunts and prevent the burden care of malnourished children present to women.
The innovativeness of my approach
Fruits and vegetables are perishable and during harvesting season, availability tends to exceed marketability. The approach provides an opportunity to horticulture industry to donate to a hungry child and minimize food wastage. Involving children with a positive mindset in gardening ensures an increase in performance for fruits and vegetables whereas providing nutrition education as well as recipe demonstrations will improve eating habits.
Technologies and Methods
These will include local media coverage, effective community mobilization, and use of telephones to enhance project adoption by the local community and for communication among stakeholders. The project will also organize seminars and workshops to provide nutrition education and on-site cooking demonstrations. The project will keep records about performance and award best performing group of children with a study tour to performing horticulture farms to arouse their interest in farming.
The project will cooperate with farmers’ associations, local authorities, and international NGOs. It will team up with primary schools to develop school gardens for sustainable production. Busitema University will provide technical assistance, community health volunteers will provide health and nutrition education, NARO will provide seeds. Schools and other charities will receive donations. Women involvement will be highly encouraged since women household farmers are hidden hunger heroes.
Voting ends on June 24, 2018, 11:59 pm (CEST).
|Team:||Oliver Norah Nakiweewa|