TANZANIA – The World Food Programme (WFP) has teamed up with Sokoine University of Agriculture (SUA) experts in Tanzania to develop local recipes for fortified foods and micronutrient powders.

The recipes will to be used in projects to support food security and nutrition efforts in the country as well as reduce operating costs associated with their imports.

WFP Tanzania Country Representative, Michael Dunford, said that the move was an element of development research to evaluate the feasibility of having specialised nutritious food and micronutrients powders locally supplied.

“We are working with SUA to see if we can come up with a recipe for fortified food that is locally sourced and affordable,” Dunford said in an interview with the Daily News.

Mr Dunford said the research development work with SUA builds on the success of their BoreshaLishe that began last year in Dodoma and Singida regions to improve food security and nutrition.

The project seeks to improve access to and use of nutritious food by women and children through social behaviour change communication and through the diversification of food production.

The WFP country chief said initial assessment showed positive changes in the communities where they were working with in the two regions with respect to improvements in dietary behaviour, food and nutrition intake of the target groups.

“We are seeing evidence that gradually women better understand nutritious diets.

“We see evidence of behaviour change towards the production and use of nutritious diversified diet. Home gardens for vegetables are established by the communities as well as small-scale livestock projects,” he noted.

Under the BoreshaLishe project, WFP has been providing specialised nutritious foods to meet energy needs as well as supporting women to start up home gardens and poultry projects to enhance household food and nutrition security.

Dunford said they were also assisting the government in developing the capacity of its disaster management and social protection systems to reliably address the basic food and nutrition needs of the poorest and most vulnerable populations throughout the year.

“WFP is also assisting to strengthen early warning systems linked to the support of the National Food Reserve Agency as the government’s arm in maintaining adequate emergency stocks,” he said.

This is part of the UN organisation’s efforts of supporting the government bid to combat malnutrition in all its forms and is also distributing specialised nutritious foods to address several aspects of malnutrition.