InnoFoodAfrica Work Package 2 (WP2) has made significant progress in conducting the review of food consumption and nutrition status in the project countries. The review which is using publicly available data, scientific publications and reports has helped understand the drivers of malnutrition, country trajectories in diet quality, identifying good practices that could be adopted and the pitfalls to avoid, and common nutritional challenges envisaged in the next 5-10 years.
WP2’s focus is on improving the quality of African diets by developing local food-based dietary guidelines and maternal and early-life nutrition based on culturally acceptable climate-smart crops. This work will be done in collaboration with Work Package 3 and Work Package 4.
The resulting food-based dietary guidelines will be designed for inhabitants of large urban areas in Ethiopia, Kenya, South Africa and Uganda. The guidelines in the form of a simple illustrated communication tool on healthy dietary habits will help stem the transition towards unhealthy and low-quality diets that increase the double burden of diseases in the urban areas. The tool will also be useful for informing local health policies and education programs aimed at fostering healthy dietary habits.
Partners in this work package include Addis Ababa University, Ethiopia; University of Helsinki, Finland; Institut National d’Etudes Superieures Agronomiques Montepellier-INRAE, France; Chuka University and Africa Harvest Biotech Foundation, Kenya; University of Pretoria, South Africa and Food and Nutrition Solutions Ltd and Uganda Manufacturers Association, Uganda.
To progress the work further, the WP2 team will share the findings of the nutrition review with WP3 and WP4 teams to ensure that the planned farming solutions and food processing techniques are responding to the current and future nutrition challenges. Other key components of this work are engagement with Ministries of Health (division of nutrition and dietetics) and local health facilities in the implementation of the plan, development and testing of research tools and recruiting and training of the research personnel.