The project will draw on several innovative interventions, guidelines, and practices to increase nutritional yields through improvements in water management, fertilizer application, seed quality, crop choice, and soil fertility conservation, while also considering nutritional and economic outcomes. To achieve these outputs, guidelines for field implementation will be developed using the Farm Field School (FFS) approach.
The methodological approach is comprised of five interlinked steps:
- Step 1 – Needs assessment through reviews and field visits undertaken in partnership with local governments for the preliminary mapping of the project beneficiaries, their specific needs and productivity constraints.
- Step 2 – Sustainable production practices covering four areas: (a) sustainable water management, (b) sustainable soil fertility management, (c) sustainable agronomic practices, and (d) the use of improved varieties, crop choice and diversity.
- Step 3 – Capacity building through the development of five modules (i.e., soil/water management, sustainable agronomic practices, nutrition education, and market linkages through nutrition-sensitive value chains) and related field exercises that can be adopted by smallholder farmers and other actors throughout the value chain.
- Step 4 – Nutrition education that promotes policy dialogue and sensitization for the integration of nutrition objectives into agricultural extension and advisory service programmes and policies.
- Step 5 – Market linkages through nutrition-sensitive value chains that link farmers to public procurement programmes that provide locally produced food to schools and other territorial markets.
Theory of change
The project aims to improve the availability, accessibility, and affordability of healthy diets foods for smallholder farmers and their families, and increase the supply of diverse, nutritious foods for surrounding markets and also targets the capacity development of farmers as both producers and consumers. The project activities highlight the steps undertaken to help end hunger, achieve food security, and improve nutrition in all its forms, including promoting the efficient management of water for nutritious food production and increasing access to healthy diets.
A ‘theory of change’ for smallholder farmers water use efficiency towards improving agricultural water productivity whilst producing diverse crops with high nutrient content and economic value, i.e., moving beyond the traditional approach of “more crop per drop” to a more integrated approach of “more diverse nutrients and better economic prospects per drop”.