In the past decade, Mozambique has dedicated national resources to combating malnutrition, particularly among women and children, including the development of a national nutritional strategy. While the country has made strides in reducing rates of micronutrient deficiencies, more than 60% of children are still deficient in nutrients essential for health and development.
The Nampula province of Mozambique has one of the highest rates of malnutrition in the country, however, agricultural production makes a wide variety of nutritious foods available in the urban cities, especially the city of Nampula. While market based approaches are not necessarily appropriate for all populations, there is potential for it to work in urban areas where there are established food markets. The first B2T initiative will take place in Nampula city of Mozambique.
The diet in Mozambique consists of nutrient deficient staples like maize, cassava, and rice. However, nutritious foods are part of the commonly consumed diet as well. Leafy green vegetables are also a staple part of the diet. A commonly consumed dish is called 'matapa' - a dish made with cassava or pumpkin leaves, peanuts, and coconut milk. Being a coastal country, seafood is widely consumed along with other proteins such as chicken and eggs. Beans and other legumes are also commonly consumed. In urban areas, there are food markets that cater to different levels of income though the quality of foods reduces significantly with a reduction in price.
One of the core challenges in diets is a general lack of nutrition education. Even for families that eat nutritious foods, there is a lack of awareness of how such foods contribute to good health. This increases the risk that as incomes increase, diets may divert away from nutritious foods to convenience foods that are less nutrient-dense.
when and Where?
A scoping mission for the first B2T initiative was carried out in March 2019. In July 2019, the full initiative started in the city of Nampua in the north of the country. Activities are being conducted in two communities and four markets within the city.
The B2T Initiative would not have been possible without the help of UniLúrio, a leading university in Mozambique. The Director of the Nutrition Course, Sofia Costa, and faculty member, Cecilia Boaventura, have contributed time and resources to ensure a high quality implementation of the program. Students of UniLúrio have served as the facilitators for community groups, participated in extensive training, and are showing excellent capability at implementing a high quality program. See more on UniLúrio and this partnership on the Partners page.
Mozambique's nutrition education strategy:
The Technical Secretariat for Food Security and Nutrition (SETSAN) continues to work on nutrition activities in the country.
See their website for more information on their work: