We will conduct nutrition-sensitive agriculture training and education to initiate home gardening in order to improve household nutrition intake and reduce stunting prevalence.
- Solutions in Action
On our first stunting prevention initiative in Daha Elu Village, Central Sumba, East Nusa Tenggara, we learned that households with pregnant mothers and children under 2 years old were consuming primarily rice, corn, and roots - starchy foods that are generally low in vitamins, protein, and minerals. This shows a gap in nutrition intake and has become one of the drivers of high stunting prevalence in Daha Elu where 56 percent of children under 2 years old are reported stunted. This low dietary diversity in the village is a consequence of limited knowledge about locally available food that is also nutritious.
Nutrient-rich foods like Moringa have already been provided as supplementary feeding for children at the integrated health post (Posyandu), however many families don’t yet have enough knowledge about Moringa’s benefit or how to plant it.
Hidden hunger, macro and micronutrient deficiencies, occur in individuals who consume sufficient total energy per day but get insufficient nutrition. Thus, this project will focus on nutrition-sensitive agriculture training and education to improve the dietary habits of households with pregnant mothers and children under 2 years old. The training will also be provided to additional households who are interested in growing Moringa, especially households who have children under 5 years old.
Kopernik will collaborate closely with the Women’s Empowerment Group (PKK) of Daha Elu village to establish household gardens in households that are committed to the initiative. Kopernik will provide Moringa seedlings which are rich-nutritious vegetables and thrive in areas prone to drought. Training and technical assistance, will then be provided by a Moringa expert.
Households are required to participate in a nutrition education training before receiving the Moringa seedlings. Kopernik will partner with the Health Department in delivering the training, which includes an introduction to nutritious local food, dietary energy supply, and Moringa benefits and preservation. An interactive poster will be developed as a tool to deliver the information.
We will also distribute water filters to some households who have not received the water filters in the previous phase of this project to provide them access to clean drinking water.
THE EXPECTED IMPACT
With training and the provision of Moringa seedlings, we expect to see an increase in household’s knowledge about nutritious food, higher spending in nutritious food and consistent practice of moringa plantation.
To sustain the impact, we expect an improved in the skills and knowledge of PKK members and established commitment from village government to invest more in home gardening as an effort to prevent stunting.
THE PROJECT RESULT
Seven months after we started the project – during which the nutritional education training had been conducted and moringa seeds distributed – it is safe to say that the families are consuming more moringa and the households have become more aware of nutritionally-balanced diets.
However, most mothers faced challenges in keeping the moringa trees alive. From a total of 245 moringa seeds distributed to 49 households in Daha Elu Village, only 55 trees or 22% survived.
Along with proximity to livestock, heavy rain and the recent cyclone that affected the village were other reasons the moringa seeds did not grow well. Despite these challenges, their willingness to continue growing the moringa remains strong. Almost all mothers we interviewed said they are trying to find replacement moringa seeds or plants to ensure they can have and consume it from their own gardens.
58% of the 27 mothers we interviewed said they have been consuming more moringa. Some consumed it from plants grown in their own homes, while most obtained it from their families or neighbors. Normally, these moringa leaves would be mixed with rice porridge or noodles, stir-fried with garlic, or cooked into a clear soup.
Since we conducted the educational training on a nutritionally-balanced diet and provided nutrition charts to the households, 70% of the 27 mothers we interviewed have become more aware of the importance of diversifying their diet and have started applying it to their family meals. For example, they have added more fruits such as papaya and proteins like fish to their everyday meals.
One of the factors hindering families from having a more varied and nutritionally-balanced diet is economic consideration. Families aren’t always able to buy fish or tempeh from the market and mostly rely on what grows in their garden for meals. However, they do try to have a balanced meal whenever possible.
Solution & Project Implementation
Costs associated with the purchase of the solutions tested and project coordination
Monitoring & Evaluation
Costs associated with data collection, analysis and reporting
Cost of transferring payments internationally, processing online donations (5%) and a contribution to Kopernik's operational costs (15%)
Kopernik Solutions provided a sub-grant to a trusted partner organisation who is implementing this project.