Agriculture to Nutrition (ATONU): Dietary diversity and nutritional status in women and children in rural farming households in Ethiopia and Tanzania

Most agricultural development programs have tended to focus on increasing the production and productivity of staple foods rather than nutrition. Therefore, agricultural
development initiatives must incorporate nutrition-sensitive interventions (NSIs), and ensure consumption of diverse diets with essential proteins, minerals and vitamins and
sufficient caloric intake. Also, there is little direct evidence linking agricultural programs and nutrition outcomes. The Food, Agriculture and Natural Resources Policy Analysis Network
(FANRPAN) and partners are implementing the Agriculture to Nutrition (ATONU) Project to answer the question of what agriculture programs can do to deliver positive nutrition
outcomes. ATONU project is working with the African Chicken Genetic Gains (ACGG) Project being implemented by the International Livestock Research Institute (ILRI) in Ethiopia and
Tanzania, as pilot projects. The objective of ACGG is to increase productivity and production of chickens by smallholder farmers through the introduction of improved and adapted
genetics.
ATONU is implementing a package of NSIs through social behaviour change communication (SBCC) messaging as follows: nutrition education and hygiene to increase consumption of
eggs and chicken mat; influencing expenditure of income from the sale of chicken and eggs to purchase other nutrient dense food; women empowerment to influence changes in
women’s time use and agency (decision making); and promotion of home gardens for improved dietary diversity. This paper describes highlights of results from the baseline studies
in Ethiopia and Tanzania, which are part of the impact evaluation for the NSIs.