HealthyLAND – The-Three-East-African-Country-Project for Nutrition Diversity

HealthyLAND – The-Three-East-African-Country-Project for Nutrition Diversity

HealthyLAND is seeking approaches to improve the diet of poor people in underprivileged regions in sub-Saharan Africa at three sites in Uganda, Kenya and Malawi. The goal is to develop alternatives to monocultures with the help of an ecologically oriented, biodiversity agriculture in order to ultimately achieve more nutritional diversity for farmer families.

Scientists from the universities of Gießen und Hohenheim as well as the Makerere University in Uganda, the Lilongwe University in Malawi and the Egerton University in Kenya are working together on this project, which is supported by the German Federal Ministry of Agriculture since 2015 with about 1 Mio. Euros, and should be completed by July 2018 (1). First interim results have now been presented at the 55th Scientific Congress of the German Nutrition Society (DGE). These underline the need to engage in broad food diversity, as suggested by the Students4Kids initiative.

The analysis of dietary habits in more than 1200 households in rural districts of Uganda, Malawi and Kenya has shown low scores on the Women Diversity Index scale. The Women Diversity Index measures the diversity of nutrition based on the consumption of 10 product groups. Although the examined East African mothers predominantly showed a normal body mass index, they were at high risk for malnutrition, according to the researchers (2). A separate study of the nutritional situation in 446 poorer farmer households in Uganda showed that educational programs for mothers improved the nutrition of children under the age of five, but could not fully compensate the consequences of declining food security (3).


Read more

(1) HealthyLAND – Crops for Healthy Diets: Linking Agriculture and Nutrition. Project website, available at an project overview, available at

(2) MG Glas et al. Dietary diversity and nutritional status of small holder women farmers. A comparison between three East-African countries HealthyLAND – Crops for Healthy Diets: Linking Agriculture and Nutrition. V 1-1, . Proc. Germ. Nutr. Soc., Vol. 24 (2018), S. 10, available at

(3) A. Röhlig et al. Impact of community-based nutrition education intervention on child dietary diversity in Kapchorwa District, Uganda. V 1-2. Ibid. and also available at

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