Global Forum on Food Security and Nutrition (FSN Forum)

This member contributed to:

    • I have been watching the conversation and would like to share good life stories of a miracle porridge mixed with eggshells. As African’s, we normally plate our hairs in different styles. On July 2018, I met with a woman (46 years old) on one of the saloons at Dodoma City Tanzania. She was carrying porridge on thermos. She said that, she normally takes this porridge because it has some miraculous power in it. When I tasted the porridge, it contained unique particles comparing to a normal porridge that we usually take.

      The woman explained that she was unhappy for a while using medications because she was feeling pain in her neck and legs, but one of her friends introduced her to a blended porridge of egg shells, Bambara nuts, sorghum, and maize, soon after she started drinking the porridge she was released from the pain and she is doing fine. She normally mixes 4 eggshells (after washing them with clean water and let the shells sundry), 1kg Maize; 1kg Sorghum and ½ Kg of Bambara Nuts then she goes to a milling machine nearby to get a blended flour. She further explained that her grandmother (72) for a long time, was unable to walk due to serious pain at the back and on her legs, she relied on her family for help when needed to do any movement including going to the washroom, she was introduced to the miracle porridge and within 3 months, she was healed and she can walk and do her home activities. The porridge has become like a family meal used by some family members and friends such as Janet (74) who had neck pain, extremely stressful in the hospital and she was wearing the Neck Collar Brace without any relief but the miracle porridge helped her to work as usual, now she can carry a bucket of water and do normal routing work required. This recipe worked efficiently for Flora (53) suffering from knee pain. Being dependent, she used the porridge for three weeks and she was healed. Whenever she met anyone facing the same challenge she had, she introduced the recipe to a particular person and all were healed.

      Based on this, I would suggest more research on this as well as improve strategies to mitigate challenges in poultry sector such as the source of raw materials for feeds and improve poultry breeder farms and hatchery facilities; strengthening of food safety and quality control mechanisms for better utilization for health population and economic growth.

    • Pulses: innovations from the field to the cooking pot

      Tanzanian production and exports of pulses have both increased rapidly in the last decade. However, the country faces serious challenges in this sector. The lack of innovative recipes, seeds, poor agricultural practices, and the presence of pests and diseases, poor marketing strictures, all end up affecting yields, quality and consumptions.

      Iron deficiency anemia is one of the most serious significant public health problems among children of 6 to 59 months and women of child bearing age (15 to 49 years) in Tanzania. According to available data, the national prevalence of anemia is at 59% for children under five years of age and 41% for women of reproductive age (TDHS, 2016).  There have been various remarkable nutrition interventions in the country since 1999 aimed at decreasing the prevalence of (Iron deficiency anemia) IDA; however the problem in the country has persisted and remaining as a public health problem. Iron deficiency anemia impairs the growth and learning ability of children, lowers resistance to infectious diseases and reduces the physical work capacity and productivity of adults. Severe anemia during pregnancy increases the risk of maternal death and of having a low birth weight infant.

       The average per capital consumption in 2007 was only 6.8 gm/day/household while the recommended intake is at least 30 gm/day/household (TNBS, 2010).  Moreover, the consumption trend has been declining over time.  Statistics show that between 2000 and 2009 per capita consumption decreased by 1.4% and the decrease was almost two folds (3.5%) after two years (FAOSTAT, 2014). This trend reflects changes in consumer preferences and failures by suppliers to align pulses attributes to consumer preferences.

      Global demand is growing for pulses as a heart-healthy food, however in many cultures, pulses are considered as ‘protein for the poor’. There are a number of reasons why they are underestimated. The most common ones are: they can cause bloating, flatulence, and; unless they are soaked for hours, pulses take a long time to cook.

      Despite its nutritional importance, pulse consumption trends in Tanzania has been decreasing from time to time and the factors underlying these could be the household characteristics such as food habits, household size and access to resources among other factors, which can potentially lead to their low consumption. For this reasons above we need to promote interventions to increase intake of pulse rich foods to reduce micronutrient malnutrition and NCDs.

      What can be done concretely to increase the consumption of pulses?

      Pulses contain some anti-nutrients, which are substances that reduce the body’s ability to absorb the various minerals that pulses contain. Fortunately, many of these issues (bloating, flatulence, anti-nutrients and length of cooking time) can be overcome using traditional cooking techniques, such as soaking, germination (sprouting), fermentation and pounding. Traditional methods can also help to reduce the content of the anti-nutrients. When other foods are combined with pulses, the nutritional value of pulses is further enhanced, as other foods help to ensure that the body is able to better absorb all the nutrients found in pulses; for examples, when beans are eaten with other foods such as grains, the nutritional value of pulses is even greater as the body is better able to absorb iron and other minerals found in pulses.

      • Increase knowledge on pulses utilization for example combine pulses with vitamin C rich foods (a good example is to sprinkle some lemon juice on lentil curry) to increase absorb iron 
      • Design cooking techniques to reduce time of cooking
      • Promote foods which when eaten with pulses can complements in nutrients
      • Promote skills building along the value chain development sector
      • Develop a network of institutions to improve sector coordination
      • Strengthen market development capacities of the sector
      • Capacity-building of key institutions in the “pulses network” to provide support services  and
      • Promote pulses as a viable and growing agricultural sector also improve products quality
      • Develop a network of institutions to improve sector coordination
      • Strengthen market development capacities of the sector
      •  Involve PPP from production processing, finance, technology transfer, farmer support services, trade and seed development.
      • Unleash the power of pulses by publishing  recipes based on pulses and innovative complementary food recipes for children of underfive years old (Greens, Soyee milk, seeds)
      • Develop an efficient storage, warehousing and logistics system as a trading platforms
      • Develop an efficient input distribution network for higher-yielding varieties
      • Improve access to finance along the value chain

      • How can we make pulses an attractive option for farmers?

      Consider different models of production along the pulses value chain such as smallholder subsistence agriculture and commercial agriculture. Each of these models have their specificities. Smallholder famers normally are less efficient and relies on intercropping based on lower-yielding seed varieties, produce only for household consumption, rely on rainfall for production, and faces volume consistency challenges. In addition to that, they face a lot of challenges in productivity, postharvest losses, inadequate access to finance, and difficulties in commercialization. Nevertheless, it is an important means of food security in numerous rural regions where almost half of the production is used for household consumption and nutrition security (protein). For, medium-to-large-scale producers generate larger volume of pulses due to more efficient production techniques and easier access to inputs and finance. Large-scale producers focus on the export market. These two models are currently both essential and actually complementary for the development of the pulses sector in the United Republic of Tanzania.

      • What is needed to strengthen pulses value chains?
      • The future value chain need to be characterized by improved input distribution, improved overall coordination and governance, enhanced forward planning and trading capacities, and increased market development and investment attraction
      • Improved seed quality and availability by improve provision of quality seeds, ensure the availability of seeds for increased production, stimulate PPPs and investment in higher-yielding seed development; promote research, develop a number of demonstration plots; and ensure a more accessible knowledge base for pulse cultivation. Moreover, provide a concessional loan scheme for farmers to procure high quality inputs.
      • Improved input distribution network– linked with access to finance, ensure that farmers and farmers’ associations have easy access to relevant inputs to maximize production. Increasing local distribution and production of seeds
      • Development of large-scale agribusiness and contract farming –enable and stimulate the development of agribusiness services to support smallholder farmers to increase their production area, volumes and quality. This is a priority area for investment attraction in the pulses value chain. This will need to be achieved by providing agribusiness services with the status of a strategic investment area. The development of partnerships with agribusiness services in the pulses sector will be essential to ensure easier access to mobile units, mechanization, hermetic cocoons, silos and threshers. Examples such as Quality Food Products for farm mechanization services will contribute to growing the agricultural sector in sophistication.
      • Development of storage, warehouses and logistics-A key success factor of the future value chain is to ensure adequate storage to handle the increasing production of pulses. These storage units of different sizes, most probably connected to structured trading platforms, will act as reserve stocks for supplying large orders or as collateral with the commodity exchange. The development of these storage units will be achieved by proposing the refurbishment of local and regional warehouses through the establishment of rehabilitate, operate and transfer; or rehabilitate, own and operate PPPs
      • An effective pulses network to plan the sector development-The primary objective of the network will be to develop partnerships with other key associations such as the Indian Pulses and Grain Association, Pulse Growers. The network is also foreseen to act as an easy entry point for traders and investors interested in the pulses sector.
      • What successful policies do we know about?

      United Republic of Tanzania is the result of the union between the Republic of Tanganyika and the People’s Republic of Zanzibar, every part has its own policies on area agricultural, food security and nutrition, for that reason, there are  many designed  policies in a country, which  when in counted  by poor coordination and multi-sector strategies and interventions,  confusing  implementation process.

      The development policies policy framework which are related to agricultural priorities are;-

      1. The Tanzania Development Vision (TDV) 2025
      2. National Strategy for Growth and Reduction (MKUKUTA & MKUZA 1&2)
      3. Five Year Development Plan 2016-2020
      4. Zanzibar Strategy for Growth and Reduction of Poverty (ZSGRP)
      6. Sector Plan
      • The Agriculture Sector Development Strategy (ASDS) contribute to medium-term and long term objectives as outlined in Vision 2025.
      • Private Investment Framework; Agriculture Sector Development Strategy Kilimo Kwanza (Transforming Agriculture) 2009 National Irrigation Development Plan TAFSIP National Agriculture Policy


      • District Agriculture Sector Investment Project (DASIP)
      • Agriculture Market System Development Program (AMSDP)
      • Rural Financial Service Programme (RFSP)
      • Marine and Costal Environment Management Project (MACEMP)
      • Comprehensive Africa Agriculture Development Programme (CAADP)
      • Tanzania Agriculture Food Security Investment Plan TAFSIP 2011/12-2020/21

      Nutrition policies and strategies

      • National Multisectoral Nutrition Action Plan (2016-21)
      • National Food and Nutrition Policy
      • Zanzibar Food Security and Nutrition policy
      • The Zanzibar Food Security and Nutrition Situational Analysis (ZFSNSA)
      • Zanzibar Agricultural Transformation for Sustainable Development (2010-2020)
      • Tanzania’s National Food Fortification Programme.


    • FAO (2014) report on food losses and waste indicates negative impact of both qualitative and quantitative losses on FSN sector. I expect the coming decade to support food losses and waste reduction strategies in the context of sustainable food systems to enhance food security and nutrition security.

    • Dear FSN- Moderator,

      Kindly find below ideas regarding activities that need to be implemented or accelerated to improve the food security and nutrition of the people of Tanzania



      FAO Tanzania



      Tanzania recognizing that malnutrition is a developmental challenge, and a national threat to achieving our national socio-economic objectives, especially of being an industrial knowledge driven Middle Income Country by 2025. Therefore, we expect UN Nutrition Action Plan to interpret well the decade of Food and Nutrition into an evidence-based strategic action plan that also contextualizes adaption of the global Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and regional nutrition relevant strategies that a country can state party to take practical steps to ensure nutrition sector policies, strategies, programmes are nutrition sensitive.

      Tanzania has gone through demographic, epidemiologic and nutrition transition. Nutrition has, however, contributed to the current   and   future rate of disease burden. Reasons for the transition are contested. The causal linkages however, may   be   more   complicated   especially   in   recent   times,   where   advances   and diffusion in technology have contributed to changes in mortality and morbidity. This level of stunting (50% to 34% (1992 to 2015/16) is categorized as severe in public health significance and is above the 30% average for Africa. Moreover, a double burden of malnutrition has emerged where undernutrition exists together with a rapidly increasing problem of diet-related non-communicable diseases (DRNCDs), especially overweight, obesity, hypertension and type -2 diabetes that have doubled in adults during the last decade.

      QI: What are your expectations for the UN Decade of Action on Nutrition and how could it make a significant difference in improving nutrition and food security of the people in Tanzania within the next ten years?

      UN Decade of Action on Nutrition should include the following critical activities to the Work Programme,

      • Strengthening private sector contribution to improve complex nature of nutrition and health  
      • Supportive cross-cutting strategies that requires the effective contribution of multiple actors, sectors and administrative levels, such us Social and behavior change communication (SBCC), Community-Public-Private Partnerships(C-PPP) and integrate  nutrition and gender.
      • Ensure national and global scientific evidence-based sharing of experience and intergenerational transfer of knowledge. contribute significantly towards country’s vision of eliminating malnutrition as a problem of public health significance by 2030 as adopted by the UN General Assembly’s Agenda 2030 on the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
      • Provide appropriate nutritional guidelines  and support to communities during emergencies and disasters;
      • Provide evidence base guideline of nutritional care/information and support for disabled people particularly those with impaired vision and deaf.
      • Strengthening prevention and management of Diet Related Non-Communicable Diseases (DRNCDs)
      • Integrate comprehensive methods that take on healthy diets, lifestyles, and sustainable food systems
      • Establishing a multisectoral food security and nutrition information system that can capture both nutrition specific and sensitive interventions
      • Provide food based approach guidelines to tackle problem of malnutrition though agriculture related nutrition sensitive interventions
      • Support reviewing of education programme curriculum for certificates and diploma level so as to increases food and nutrition scientist who can work at community level
      • Develop tools for monitoring and evaluation of nutrition in view of multisectoral approach

      Q2; Which activities would need to be accelerated in your country to reach these targets?

      • Strengthening private sector contribution to improve complex nature of nutrition and health increase investments in production, processing, storage and marketing of high-value nutritious and healthy products and in the provision of essential basic social services (food, health, water, sanitation and hygiene) for nutrition improvement;
      • Advocacy and Social mobilization to sustain political Will and Government commitment to nutrition and to mobilise adequate resources for nutrition.
      • Link Research to the programmes and training to assure national and global scientific evidence-based sharing of experience and intergenerational transfer of knowledge.
      • Nutrition emergency response action plan to disaster and crisis
      • Review the integrated Maternal, Infant, Young Child and Adolescent Nutrition training packages and orient different ministries and agencies nutrition officers and Development partners on the packages
      • Advocate and develop guidelines for multiple micronutrients supplements
      • Mapping of economic groups in the community and train them on food base approach to tackle the problem of Vitamin A rich foods at lower level
      • Promote Evidence based interventions to address micronutrients deficiencies include both nutrition-specific and nutrition-sensitive interventions.
      • Develop Social and behavior change communication (SBCC) for nutrition through interpersonal communication and mass media communication to support adoption of appropriated behavior and practices for improved nutrition
      • Support reviewing of education programme curriculum for certificates and diploma level so as to increases food and nutrition scientist who can work at community level
      • Undertake formative research to identify barriers and motivating factors that influence behaviours which increase demand for iodized salt
      • Provide evidence based guideline of nutritional care/information and support for disabled people particularly those with impaired vision and deaf.
      • Develop advance tools of nutrition indicator that capture impact of Nutrition sensitive interventions on future positive impacts on nutrition status.
      • Strengthening prevention and management of Diet Related Non-Communicable Diseases (DRNCDs)
      • Integrate comprehensive methods that take on healthy diets, lifestyles, and sustainable food systems interpretation to total dietary consumption.
      • Develop/update pre-service  IMAM training curriculum and revise in-service IMAM training package (guidelines, protocol, monitoring tools and job aids)
      • Develop a comprehensive community outreach and mobilization package to address negative social norms, IMAM barriers, early SAM/MAM detection and treatment
      • Conduct advocacy with the Government and Development Partners to ensure adequate funding and prioritization of IMAM in Tanzania
      • Review/develop and validate and print comprehensive guidelines (for community, clinical and e-learning) on healthy lifestyles for Tanzania
      • Provide technical capacity to strengthening routing nutrition data collection, management and interpretation by health care provides/nutritionist through available health information systems

      Q3: What can be done to accelerate and improve the quality of commitments from the various actors? What role(s) should public and private actors play in monitoring their implementation?


      The key nutrition implementers: Government Ministries, Departments and Agencies Development Partners; NGOs, the Private Sector; Civil Society Organisations (CSOs) including NGOs and Faith-Based Organizations (FBO); the Private Sector, political parties and communities



      Coordinate the overall national response to nutrition including ensuring effective contribution by Ministries, Departments and Agencies. Support the multi-sectoral response to nutrition and ensuring that nutrition is adequately mainstreamed in policies and strategies of the key line ministries (Provide oversight for governance and accountability of all sectors and actors in nutrition)

      Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDA)

      To ensure that nutrition is adequately reflected in MDA policies, strategic plans, programs, legislation, regulations and guidelines as well as monitoring the integration of nutrition interventions

      NGOs, CBOs, FBOs


      Integrate nutrition issues in their programs, projects and activities targeting communities and households; and align their nutritional plans with the government plans at the respective level within the context of the national nutrition action plans.

      Professional Bodies


      Will issue professional guidance in nutrition, conduct research, set professional standards and participate in the development of nutrition curricula for pre-service, in-service and continuing education; and supporting outreach activities on nutrition in communities

      Political Parties


      Political parties are in a unique position to promote nutrition improvement, given their reach and influence in mobilizing for social goals Incorporate food and nutrition improvement issues in their election  manifestos and campaigns; Advocate for the prioritisation of nutrition in national Support initiatives for improvement of food and nutrition especially in vulnerable groups

      Private Sector Institutions and media

      Private sector.

      The private sector will partner with Government in the provision of nutrition-relevant services at all Increase investments in production, processing, storage and marketing of high-value nutritious and healthy products and in the provision of essential basic social services (food, health, water, sanitation and hygiene) for nutrition improvement; Invest in production and marketing of appropriate low cost-labour saving technologies that enhance food and nutrition improvement at community level;

      The Media

      The mass media will be responsible for advocating and conveying accurate information to the public and create awareness so as to influence positive behavioral changes for nutrition improvement in line with National Social and Behavioral Change Communication (SBCC) Strategy. 

      Development Partners

      Development Partners, including the UN agencies, multilateral and bilateral organizations need to mobilise technical and financial resources for implementation, capacity development, monitoring and evaluating the UN decade for action on nutrition, also bring in international experience, norms and standards, evidence-based guidance and insights to adjust strategy and promote international cooperation in the implementation of nutrition interventions.

      Q4: How can other relevant forums, such as the CFS and the UNSCN, contribute, and how can other movements (e.g. human rights, environment) be involved in the Decade

      • Encourage international platform for partnership on nutrition, opportunities to exchange information and share technical resources.
      • Promote cooperation among UN agencies and DPs in support of community national regional and international efforts to eliminate hunger and malnutrition in viscous cycle of malnutrition.
      • Effectively engaging in high level decision making, support strong leadership at all level
      • Develop a nutrition contingency plan for addressing nutrition needs of populations that are prone to climate change hazards, right to food approach etc.
      • Increased coverage of nutrition sensitive interventions from key development sectors (Agriculture and Food Security; Health and HIV; Water, Sanitation and Hygiene; Education; Social Protection and Environment and Climate Change).
      • Good nutrition is a human right. CFS and the UNSCN can contribute enhance nutrition as a human right in the identification of the policy that explicitly mention the right to health and nutrition. These include among others the Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC), the Convention on the Elimination of All forms of Discrimination against Women and the African Charter on Human Rights.
      •  CFS and the UNSCN greatly expected to contribute to Tanzania’s political agenda of peace and stability and propelling the country into middle income country (MIC) status by 2025. Thus contributes to global security and peace and provides national anchor for the implementation of the global development and normative agendas. Hence, the UN Nutrition Action plan  galvanizes both global and national social and development agendas into national action plans for sustainable development
      • In this decade, Tanzania expected to become a MIC without the shifts that characterize middle income countries! The pattern of current economic growth is dominated by physical infrastructure (industry, minerals including gas and the service sector with little growth in the Agriculture and Food Security Sector which employ the majority of Tanzanians and more directly related to enhancing malnutrition. Moreover, despite a strong economic growth for over a decade some key areas like poverty reduction, inequality, stunting and uptake of critical services like family planning have not progressed as well as expected. Thus CFS and the UNSCN will ensuring that Tanzania enters MIC status without sliding backwards in its human capital development.
      • Technical and financial support to Multi-Sectoral High-Level Steering Committee for Nutrition (HLSCN) at the Prime Minister’s Office to facilitate multi-sectoral coordination and synergy.


      Submitted by:

      Ms. Stella Kimambo,

      National Food Security and Nutrition Officer,

      FAO, Dar es salaam, Tanzania