The call was made by stakeholders at a meeting to promote nutrition sensitive farming to school children in Tanzania organized jointly by the Food and agriculture organization of the United Nations (FAO), the government, European Union (EU) funded AGRI-CONNECT and Tanzania Girl Guides Association (TGGA)
The school nutrition promotion that uses school girl tailored agricultural and food nutrition materials, entertainments, drama, educative materials on nutrition sensitive farming expected to reach more than 17,000 school girl children and will cover a large part of the country including the Southern highlands regions in Tanzania.
They said parents, education practitioners and the community should focus on promoting nutrition sensitive farming and health to prepare school young girls to be future good guardians and champions of nutrition right from home to the community.
FAO’s food security and nutrition specialist Stella Kimambo said promoting nutrition issues for girl child does not isolate boy child, all should be treated equally only that the campaign takes into consideration the challenges girl child goes through her life.
“We can change nutritional issues on the table through nutrition sensitive farming. Capacitating young girls right from the farm is to build a nutritious and sustainable future community,” she emphasized.
Tanzania country representative for RIKOLTO Tanzania Kain Mvanda said Tanzanians should promote nutrition to the children since they are young so that when they grow up, they should be good parents and champions of nutrition.
“We are promoting this especially for girls so that they can understand nutrition and practice to build a better future generation,” he said.
A representative of the Ministry of agriculture Margaret Natai said promoting nutrition will address many issues affecting children and particularly girl child including stunting which is currently at 32 percent.
Tanzania girl guides Association (TGGA) program coordinator, Valentina Gonza called on Tanzanians to promote nutrition by preparing girls to be good champions right from the farm to the table.
She said this will improve educational outcomes of children, as well as being socially progressive to change the mindset of the community she lives.
“As TGGA we are promoting empowerment and advancement of girls and young women both socially and economically in terms of nutrition since they are still young,” she said.
She said the general public should raise awareness and inculcate a sense of self-reliant, responsible and commitment to nutrition issues.
Mjimwema school students Rahma Shabani and Hafsa Mkama urged parents, the government and other stakeholders to continue raising awareness on nutrition and capacitating young girls to understand the role of nutrition so as to grow up healthy.
In many communities girls don’t get enough nutritious food and in most cases, they are denied the opportunity to speak up their mind.
A couple of months ago, the Food and agriculture organization of the United Nations (FAO), and the Government of Tanzania through the European Union (EU) funded AGRI-CONNECT flagship program, launched a national nutrition campaign to develop healthy eating habits in Tanzania based on locally available foods.