Malnutrition is one of the most serious health problems affecting infants, children, and women of reproductive age in Tanzania. Despite progress made, millions of children and women in Tanzania continue to suffer from one or more forms of under-nutrition, including low birth weight, stunting, being underweight, wasting, vitamin A deficiency (VAD), iodine deficiency disorders, and anemia. Addressing malnutrition problems results in significant economic and social benefits as it reduces morbidity and mortality leading to resource savings in healthcare, improved education outcomes, enhanced productivity and increased incomes. Improved nutrition will contribute to the achievement of six Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) including the reduction of poverty.
In Tanzania, the key ministries implementing the Food and Nutritional Policy and the Nutritional Strategy are the Ministry of Health and Social Welfare (MoHSW) and the Ministry of Agriculture, Food Security and Cooperatives (MAFC). The MoHSW has the role of assessing the health outcome/benefits (including Vitamin A status) and promoting the consumption of orange-fleshed sweet potatoes (OFSP) through the existing health education programmes in health facilities and communities. The MAFC can advocate and promote the adoption of OFSP crop through the Agricultural Sector Development Program (ASDP). The two key ministries have developed an advocacy and communication strategy that encourages several stakeholders to invest in promotion of production and utilization of OFSP. The stakeholders include the Prime Minister’s Office Regional Administration and Local Government (PMO-RALG), the Ministry of Community Development, Gender and Children (MCDGC), and the Ministry of Education and Vocational Training (MoEVT). Others include the private sector, development partners, and civil society organizations (CSO).
The situation analysis involved a review of the various policies, strategies and program documents of the Government of Tanzania (GoT) that could be used to advocate for and promote the investment and consumption of OFSP concomitantly. Some of the policies reviewed include the Agriculture Sector Development Strategy (ASDS), the National Strategy for Growth and Reduction of Poverty (NSGRP) I and II (better known by its Swahili acronym MKUKUTA), the Tanzania Agriculture and Food Security Investment Plan (TAFSIP), and the National Nutritional Strategy (NNS). The resources needed to invest in the promotion of OFSP were also explored. These included the quality and quantity of land, human resources, government and development partners’ commitment, involvement of private sector through public private partnership, the growing Gross Domestic Product (GDP), and favourable agro-climatic zones.
Authors: Reaching Agents of Change, Reaching Agents of Change
Publisher: Helen Keller International
Publication Date: December2012
Rights: All rights reserved.