Capacity building for nutrition education

Improving Nutrition and Household Food Security in Mozambique

Title: Improving Nutrition and Household Food Security in Manica Province

Country: Mozambique

Duration: 2002 - 2007

Responsible Ministries/institutions/partnerships, including UN: Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development; Provincial Directorate of Agriculture and Rural Development, Macossa District Administration and Municipality of Chimoio, District of Tambara; Ministries of Health, Women and Social Action, Water, Education, and Finance and Planning


Project Summary

The project aims at the sustainable improvement of household food security and increased nutritional status of food insecure and vulnerable population groups in Manica Province, Mozambique, by increasing year-round access to a variety of nutritious foods and increasing people’s incomes through:

  • the promotion of adapted crop species and varieties,
  • increased crop productivity through simple, labour-saving and low-cost technologies and sustainable cropping practices,
  • the introduction of small livestock, where appropriate; and
  • improved post-harvest technology.

The project’s nutrition component aims at improving peoples’ knowledge base on food, nutrition and health and promoting positive attitudes and behavioural practices, with a view to ensure improved diet quality, adequate nutritional intakes and enhanced dietary utilisation, especially among children and women.

The nutrition component foresees nutrition and health education activities, incl. capacity building at the community, district/municipal and provincial levels, promoting dietary diversification and the acceptance of improved child feeding practices. Food and nutrition teaching and learning materials for use in primary schools will be developed.



Overall Development Objective:

  • Improve household food security and nutrition 
  • Reduce absolute poverty in rural and urban areas of Mozambique.

Intermediate Objective:

  • Improve in sustainable ways household food security, nutrition and livelihoods of food-insecure and vulnerable population groups, through integrated community-based actions, and institutional capacity development at community, district, provincial and national levels.  
  • To enhance communities' and households' knowledge base on food, nutrition and health
  • Promote positive attitudes and behavioural change, that result in improved diet quality, adequate nutritional intakes and better dietary utilisation, with a specific focus on young child and maternal nutrition.

Critical problem identified and addressed by the project:

  • Inadequate and unstable supplies of food, and 
  • Inadequate access to nutritious diets for the majority of the rural and urban population,
  • High incidence of infectious diseases, and
  • Insufficient knowledge about how to optimise the use of available foods and how to best manage household assets,
  • all these lead to household food insecurity or to vulnerability to food insecurity, and malnutrition, especially for children and women.


Main beneficiaries:

  • Communities and people most vulnerable to chronic household food insecurity and malnutrition; 
  • NGOs and Government staff at administrative post, district and provincial level

Main project participants/institutions involved: 

  • Helen Keller International (HKI), Mozambique office, for the preparation of the school nutrition education materials.

Main planned activities (nutrition component):

  • Preparation and implementation of food, nutrition and health education strategy and communication plan (to overcome knowledge and attitudinal constraints of both service providers and caregivers);
  • Activities implemented through community-based health workers and other service providers, including indigenous institutions, with support from formal health care providers and partner agencies
  • Nutrition activities include community growth monitoring and promotion, home-based nutrition counselling for mothers, fathers and other caregivers as well as campaigns at the community, district/municipal and provincial levels, to promote dietary diversification and widespread acceptance of improved family, child and maternal feeding practices. 
  • Numerous nutrition education courses (including cooking demonstrations) for end beneficiaries, as well as for community-level health workers, agric. extensionists, facilitators of the Farmer Field Schools (FFS), Junior Farmer Field and Life Skill Schools (JFFLS), "model mothers", etc.
  • Recruitment and training of District Nutrition Facilitators (who, in turn, conducted some of the above-mentioned nutrition trainings) 
  • Preparation and field-testing of nutrition education school materials ("Vamos comer"); the materials are currently in official (governmental) approval process for countrywide application.
  • Preparation and field-testing of leaflets (visual aids) for nutrition education with illiterate (low education) groups of beneficiaries.
  • Contribution of nutrition, hygiene, and growth monitoring sections to the Manual for Junior Farmers Field and Lifeskill Schools (JFFLS)

 Main planned outputs (nutrition component): 

  • "Vamos comer", a set of nutrition education materials for use in primary schools and for two different age levels (one students book, and one teachers book for each age level) \
  • Set of leaflets (to be used as visual training aids and handouts) on infant and young child nutrition, and food (water) hygiene for illiterate (low education) beneficiaries 
  • Three sections on nutrition, hygiene, and growth monitoring in the Manual for Junior Farmers Field and Lifeskill Schools (JFFLS) .

last updated:  Friday, January 8, 2016