Friday 24 February 2017 21:34

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A new project to improve food security and nutrition in Rwanda

More Rwandan poor families are expected to improve their nutrition status thanks to tremendous efforts being made by a new project dubbed “Voice for Change Partnership” (V4CP) Programme. 

The Voice for Change Partnership (V4CP) is a multicounty and multi sector program funded by the Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs and implemented in six countries including Rwanda under the leadership of SNV in conjunction with IFPRI together with local CSOs. 

The goal of the 5-year project is to improve food security and nutrition of poor Rwandan households through increased availability, accessibility, affordability and consumption of nutritious food at household level. According the project’s officials, this will be achieved through the development, adoption and implementation of inclusive policies and regulations on production and consumption of diverse and nutritious food, increased accessibility and use of fortified crops or products, improved coordination of agriculture, food security and nutrition actors and activities at national and district levels, and adequate budget allocation at national and district level. 

“I am pleased that SNV is putting in place such an important program to contribute in eradication of malnutrition,” said Fulgence Nsengiyumva, Minister of State in charge of Agriculture, adding that “I would also like to extend my profound gratitude to the Kingdom of the Netherlands for the support provided to the Food and nutrition sector here in Rwanda.”

The Minister of State made the statement while launching the new project on February 15, 2017 in Kigali. The event was also attended by Frederique de Man, the Ambassador of the Kingdom of the Netherlands to Rwanda.

The Dutch Ambassador said that they have been and still are partnering with a whole range of national and international partners to reduce prevalence of stunting among children under five years and improve young children’s holistic development in Rwanda.

The government of Rwanda through its commitment to eradicate malnutrition in all its forms has realized satisfying progress. By 2010 Rwanda was able to achieve food self-sufficiency through significant increases in the production of staple crops driven by the Crop Intensification Programme and stronger regional market integration. 

The supply of food, as measured by kilocalorie availability, has increased over the last ten years. However, household food consumption has remained an important foundational issue where by 2014, 38 % of children under five years were still stunted, noted Minister of State Nsengiyumva. 

As stated in EDPRS 2, poor maternal, infant and child feeding practices will be addressed through coordinated, strengthened and scaled up community-based nutrition programmes and information campaigns across the country. 

In this regard, the Minister of State called on the private sector to engage more actively and increase the investment to be able to become the main driver of sustainable food and nutrition security and of economic growth. He also urged research institutes to tailor their research towards innovative and demand based approach for effectively coming up with solutions for tackling food and nutrition issues.

“As we join together, for this common endeavour, I confidently believe that we will successfully achieve sustainable food and nutrition security through high production and consumption of diversified crops while also increasing the incomes derived from agriculture,” pointed Minister of State Nsengiyumva. “I also express hope that this programme will not only address some of the challenges and constraints faced by the food and nutrition sector but also explore more unexploited opportunities.”