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Crops, Gender, Nutrition, Farmers Organizations


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East and Southern Africa

"I am very happy now because before I did not know about all the different nutrients of the various products I was using to cook for my family."

Cristina Serati, farmer of the Wapaja Hiliyale Farmer Field School


Lack of knowledge about the nutritional values of food is the main cause of malnutrition of some farmers' families in Mozambique. With the help of government extension services and Culinary Demonstration Units, farmers are now able to prepare better food for their families. 


Training on nutrition

By training the farmers on nutritional value of food, they learn how to diversify their diet and prepare more nutritious food for their families.

Culinary Demonstration Units

Farmers are provided with a space and the right tools to learn how to make recipes that they can easily replicate at home, by using their own produce.


The Culinary Demonstration Units can offer

  • Training modules to teach farmers how to prepare nutritious food; and
  • A sustainable way to tackle malnutrition

Countries involved


Project partners

IFAD, Government of Mozambique, Direção Nacional de Extensão Agrária (DNEA), Serviços Provinciais de Extensão Agrária (SPER)

Project dates

2016 – 2018

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Malnutrition is one of the major challenges in Mozambique’s rural farming communities. This challenge is often associated with poor dietary intake, poor hygiene and poor knowledge of food preservation. By training national public extension officers on nutrition and integrating nutrition education into Farmer Field School Groups (FFS), the Government of Mozambique is contributing to the improved nutritional status of the most vulnerable groups, such as children and pregnant women. 


In the Montepuez District of Cabo Delgado Province, Mozambique, the stunting rate is nine percentage points higher than the national average of 43 per cent. Peculiarly, food access is not an issue for the farming communities living in this province, due to the area’s high production yields. The main issue is that most of the population is not aware of the importance of nutrition, food preservation and diverse diets. 


In order to address this challenge, IFAD and the Government of Mozambique, through the PRONEA Support Project (PSP), have taken steps to further integrate nutrition initiatives in farming communities in northern Mozambique.

Through the existing government agriculture extension services, extension officers are trained on how to prepare nutritious foods. Farmers receive the training through the extension workers and consequently share what they have learned with their fellow farmers and community members. This model guarantees sustainability beyond the project and the extension officers’ intervention, as the trained farmers become voluntary trainers themselves.

The training commences with the extension officers and the farmers jointly deciding which crops they would like to learn more about. Trainings focus on growing crops as well as cooking techniques.

Following the training on the crops, learning continues with Culinary Demonstration Units – practical models designed to engage members of the Farmer Field School Groups (FFS) about the preparation of nutritious foods for their families and improved preservation techniques to avoid seasonal food waste. The Culinary Demonstration Units are tents equipped with basic cooking utensils that farmers can use to demonstrate to each other how to cook nutritious foods based on the produce they have available.

By learning different recipes, farmers have also learned about dietary diversity. They know how to use local foods and produce, as well as the nutrient values that each product has.


  • Through the PRONEA Support Project (PSP), A total of 307 extension officers (including 282 at the district level) were trained on nutrition education and are currently providing continuous training in nutrition for farmers’ organizations.
  • PSP reached a total of 5,158 beneficiaries, over 65.5 per cent of them women. As a result of trainings in Farmer Field School Groups (FFS), using cooking demonstration kits and educational materials about nutrition, FFS members have adopted and consumed improved recipes. The beneficiaries are improving their dietary intake in 23 of 42 PSP districts. Evidence from the field has confirmed the acceptability of these improved recipes: children are better nourished and communities are adopting all the best practices.  
  • Three food and nutrition fairs have been conducted, and six Culinary Demonstration Units are now in use. The fairs and Culinary Demonstration Units promoted the consumption and marketing of improved dishes prepared with locally available food, such as cassava cake, sweet potato juice, banana chips and enriched porridge for complementary feeding. The demonstrations also included diverse food-preservation techniques. 

Lessons Learned/Potential for replication

The nutrition activities in the PRONEA Support Project started in mid-2016. Since then, the project has been able to contribute to nutrition mainstreaming within the public extension sector. There have been positive results in terms of meeting global targets and integrating nutrition activities in the extension sector through training and capacity-building activities at different levels (national, provincial and district).

With the introduction of nutrition education by the extension officers, the Government of Mozambique and IFAD are ensuring the continuity and sustainability of the learning and knowledge-sharing process among farmers, including those in different provinces. 

Next Steps 

Based on the success of the PRONEA Support Project, IFAD is planning to apply its model in other projects in Mozambique, as well as in the other regions beyond Africa. Moreover, it is envisioned that the training will continue in other districts of Mozambique. 

Solution Video


Video Author: IFAD TV

Video Resolution:1280 x 720

Solution Image

Lucia Lauterio, one of the farmers who benefitted from the training from the extension officers.

Image Author:Elena Bertusi

Farmers of Wapaja Hiliyale village harvest the beans that they have been cultivating.

Image Author:Elena Bertusi

One of the farmers washes her hands with the Tip Top.

Image Author:Elena Bertusi

Beans are one of the main produce of the farmers from the Wapaja Hiliyale village.

Image Author:Elena Bertusi

Lucia Lauterio, one of the training beneficiaries is showing how to prepare one of the dishes during...

Image Author:Elena Bertusi

Cristina Serati preparing dinner at her household.

Image Author:Elena Bertusi

The Farmers set up the Culinary Demonstration Unit in the Wapaja Hiliyale village to showcase the fo...

Image Author:Elena Bertusi

Children help their mother (Cristina Serati) prepare dinner. Here they are cleaning peanuts.

Image Author:Elena Bertusi

Farmers in the Wapaja Hiliyale village clean cassava for cooking.

Image Author:Elena Bertusi

Farmers start preparing one of the dishes (bean cake) they have learned through the training.

Image Author:Elena Bertusi

Last update: 24/01/2019