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Services delivery in social distancing

Promotion and distribution of bio-fortified food products to populations in Kigoma region

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Kigoma is among 5 regions in Tanzania with high rates of malnutrition and stunting growth. The rate of stunting growth in Kigoma is 38 percent while the rate of deficiency of vitamin A is 39 percent among children under the age of five. Deficiency of Iron/zinc and vitamin A is collectively called hidden hunger. Bio-fortified food products such as vitamin A orange fleshed sweet potato, high iron beans and pro-vitamin A maize help reduce hidden hunger among women in reproductive age and children under the age of 5 years. The value added products such as crispy sweet potato chips, flour,biscuit and beans need to reach the local communities despite the existence of the pandemic,COVID-19. The authorities in Tanzania has confirmed 254 COVID-19 cases from 40 in the last five days. This fast increase of the cases have caused anxiety among the people that they may forget other important issues such as combating hidden hunger through the use of bio-fortified products. The reduced products in the markets, fast buying of products and lack of proper communications with service products make availability and utilization of bio-fortified food products at risk. There are agents of change who were identfied by the project called Building Nutritios Food Baskets (BNFB) which was funded by Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation (2015-2018) and Implemented by International Potato Centre in Tanzania and Nigeria. The initiatives to combat hidden hunger can be done by agents of change (entrepreneurs, farmers and value addition stakeholders), companies and NGOs.

What is the need are you focusing on?

The supply of bio-fortified food products has reduced because of anxiety and lack of communications with suppliers. The social distancing is not officially announced in Tanzania but people have themselves taken extra car by minimizing visits to markets, relatives,shops, suppliers,farms and offices, among other actors. The combat against hidden hunger has reduced and hence need agents of change to work hard to deliver the bio-fortified food products as well as promoting them by reminding the people that still we have hidden hunger as an enemy in villages and towns. The effort will fill in gap of, improved nutrition information, availability of the products in rural and urban areas by first adding value to the products, accessing the products from other suppliers and prmoting farming of bio-fortified staple crops.

Which type of submission are you sharing?

  • Identifying a gap that needs to be addressed
  • Sharing an actual pivot your organization has already made

Describe the business pivot or adaptation in 3-4 sentences.

The project will address deficiency of vitamin A and Iron and Zinc (hidden hunger) through promotion and distribution of bio-fortified food products in Kigoma region. The services will be distribution of bio-fortified food products from orange fleshed sweet potato (flour,cake and biscuits), high Iron/Zinc beans and pro-vitamin A maize (flour). The impact will be reduced rates of deficiency of vitamin A and Iron and Zinc and hence reduced malnutrition and availability of potential members of the society in Kigoma region

Do you plan to implement this solution?

  • Yes

Describe the impact that this solution will create in the world.

The solution will benefit women at reproductive age and children under the age of five in Kigoma region by reducing deficiency of Vitamin A and Iron and Zinc and take part in Scaling Up Nutrition Movement and Improved Nutrition Initiatives. The solution is planned to reach 1,800 children and 2,400 women in Kigoma region of Tanzania. The solution/project will be implemented for a period of 1 year to witness the impact among community members in undeserved populations mostly in rural areas.

What is the name of your business or organization?

Tanzania Heath Care and Environmental Conservation Organization (TAHECECO)

What does your business/company do? Whose needs does your business/company address? Who do you serve?

TAHECECO works with women, children, youth, and people with disability in Tanzania by promoting gender equality, environmental protection, accessibility of health and reproductive rights and addressing youth and women socioeconomic prosperity. TAHECECO’s thematic areas: (1) human rights and good governance (2) Child Protection (3) Health Promotion & Improved Nutrition (4) Social Economic Justice and (5) Environment Conservation & Climate Change and WASH. TAHECECO's Vision: Improved gender rights, environmental protection and ensure healthy lives to all TAHECECO's Mission: Strengthen and advocate for human rights, gender rights and access of socioeconomic services for local communities

What is your profession?

My profession is Agro-forestry

Where are you located (country)?


Where are you located (region)?

  • Eastern Africa

What industry is your business/company in?

  • Activist/Community Leader/Organizer
  • Agriculture/Farming
  • Food Services

How many people does your business/company employ?

  • 11-49

How old is your business/company?

  • 1-2 years old

Which classification describes your organization/business?

  • Social Enterprise

What kind of stakeholders and partnerships are needed to pursue this solution?

  • Funding- Grants
  • Funding- Investment
  • Stakeholders/Partnerships- NGOs
  • Stakeholders/Partnerships- Civil Society Groups
  • Stakeholders/Partnerships- Grassroots/Community Groups

Do you need help building partnerships and finding partners?

  • Yes

If Yes to the above, please share 1-2 sentences describing the specific help you desire.

I am specifically in need of collaborations and access to grants to promote, farm (or access harvested products from other agents of change), process (vale addition) and distribute (with fair prices) bio-fortified food products to underserved regions in Tanzania for combating hidden hunger

What do you think are the main barriers to implementing this solution?

Lack of adequate knowledge of bio-fortification and bio-fortified food products among community members which need for promotion and awareness creation

If you are currently working on a pivot, what have you learned so far?

I have learned that once the bio-fortified products are promoted they are heavily consumed by the customers. The government and nutrition involvement in bio-fortification the initiatives especially Tanzania Food and Nutrition Centre and International Potato Centre and Partnership for Nutrition in Tanzania have increased influence for people to understand and utilize the bio-fortified food products.

Are you aware of any open source efforts, hackathons or other collaborative efforts related to your solution? Are you participating in these efforts?

I am aware of Scaling Up Nutrition Movement (SUN Movement) which works tirelessly to address malnutrition in the globe. I am aware of initiatives by Eleanor Crook Foundation which work to end malnutrition through advocacy and research

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Photo of Francesca Milani

just found this. Also India is facing the same issue. This is a global problem !