- Rural families in Malawi and Tanzania will benefit from a McKnight Foundation grant awarded to fight malnutrition which is widespread in two countries, particularly among children under five whose diet is deficient in protein, oils and micronutrients.
The project will seek to address the urgent need to develop and harvest improved, nutritious foods using locally available crops such as groundnuts. Increased groundnut production can significantly improve individual nutrition as well as economic security.
A McKnight Foundation grant recently awarded to Compatible Technology International (CTI), Tanzania's Sokoine University of Agriculture (SUA) and the International Crops Research Institute for the Semi-Arid Tropics (ICRISAT) will address these needs. The organisations are combining their expertise for a four-year $673,000 research and development grant project, which will focus on enhancing child nutrition and the livelihoods of rural households in Malawi and Tanzania.
"We feel very privileged to be chosen for this McKnight Foundation grant," said CTI's executive director, Roger Salway. "This project is essential to addressing the issues and needs of families in Malawi and Tanzania and the McKnight Foundation grant makes it all possible."
"This project is essentially about collaborating with these farm families about the crops growing naturally in their environments," also said CTI's vice president of operations, Bert Rivers. "This collaboration is important, not only to provide additional nutrition to their families, but to also provide increased revenue for their households to improve their livelihood. We are also being educated by the farmers about the realities of their living conditions and farming systems."
The project objectives also include, to reduce losses of food during handling, processing and storage, improve the nutrition of rural households, particularly children, raising household revenues through sale and distribution of groundnut-based food products for local markets and improving productivity, while also reducing the intense daily labour typically endured by women.
While the project will empower farm families in ways that enable them to strengthen their links to markets and manage their farms as enterprises, it will also strengthen local presence by transferring technical and manufacturing expertise to the African organisations.
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