Govt, EU, FAO launch national wide campaign for healthier diets

02May 2022
Gerald Kitabu
The Guardian
Govt, EU, FAO launch national wide campaign for healthier diets

THE Food and agriculture organization of the United Nations (FAO), and the Government of Tanzania through the European Union (EU) funded AGRI-CONNECT flagship program, have launched a national nutrition campaign to develop healthy eating habits in Tanzania based on locally available foods.

Launching the campaign over the weekend in Dar es Salaam, director of National food security at the Ministry of agriculture Dr. Honest Kessy said reducing nutrition in Tanzania is the government first priority and this campaign comes at the right time as the world grapples to contain the COVID-19 Pandemic.

He said: “We have strengthened our nutrition leadership by encouraging more investment in agriculture, food production and nutrition education to increase the availability and accessibility of healthy diets through improved agricultural productivity and a better understanding of the importance of healthy diets to preventing nutritional disorders and improving body immune.

FAO representative in Tanzania Dr. Nyabenyi Tipo emphasized that as the global pandemic continues, the importance of healthy diets in mitigating its effects has never been more important, adding that a shift in societal practices regarding food production, consumption and market access would increase access to food, boost body immunity and provide small holder farmers with an income.

Head of natural resources at the European delegation in Tanzania Lamine Diallo said “agriculture and nutrition are two sides of the same coin and we must improve our respective food systems to meet the nutrition needs of the world’s rapidly growing population.

He added that Tanzania can address the high rate of malnutrition in several regions if takes full advantage of its significant agricultural potentials.

“We sincerely hope that this campaign combined with other AGRI-CONNECT activities, will mobilize all partners and contribute to the improvement of people’s health and wealth” he said.

The FAO-led program titled: “Building resilience of Agri-food systems and better nutrition in the context of the global pandemic” is the fourth component of the AGRI-CONNECT supporting value chains for shared prosperity project which focuses mainly on nutrition and establishing systems to help absorb pandemic-like shocks to food and market accessibility.

With its Lishe bora ni Mtaji (Good nutrition is an investment) slogan, the national nutrition campaign will include activities such as cooking programs, daladala (minibus) nutrition education tours, trainings for female youth and the establishment of msosi asilia (traditional food sites) over the course of two years, it is expected to reach 32 million people via traditional and social media platforms.