What is ATONU doing in Tanzania and Ethiopia?
ATONU has embarked on the development of nutrition sensitive interventions to complement agricultural investments and help enhance nutrition outcomes in Tanzania and Ethiopia with the African Chicken Genetic Gains (ACGG) Project. These projects will be used to integrate nutrition-sensitive interventions (NSIs) and generate evidence of the positive impact of agriculture on nutrition outcomes.
The ATONU project is currently conducting tests with around 800 households in 20 villages from different regions and agro-ecological zones per country, in Tanzania and Ethiopia. Each participating household receives 25 chickens from the ACGG project as a nutrition-sensitive intervention to their exiting agricultural system, and further benefits from a Behavioral Change and Communication (BCC) package that is administered by the project’s field personnel and focuses on nurturing the following;
i. Nutrition and hygiene behaviour change to improve consumption of diverse foods, including chickens and eggs at household level.
ii. Influencing expenditure behaviour of income generated from sale of chickens and eggs to ensure purchase of other/complementary nutritious foods to improve household diets;
iii. Women empowerment and gender equity in chicken value chains to improve women’s participation in joint household production and women’s time use.
iv. Establishment of household vegetable production to improve consumption of vegetables and dietary diversity.
The immediate goal of the ACGG project is to increase access of poor smallholder farmers in sub-Saharan Africa to high-producing but agro-ecologically appropriate chicken genetics products. Interventions include testing multiple improved breeds of chickens from Africa and elsewhere to demonstrate high-production potential under low-input systems; strengthening public-private partnerships for enhanced availability of farmer-preferred genotypes to increase smallholder chicken productivity; selecting and empowering more than 7,500 smallholder farmers (at least 70% of whom will be women carefully chosen from multiple agro-ecological zones within the three target countries-Ethiopia, Tanzania and Nigeria, to conduct on-farm and on-station chicken germplasm testing to measure and demonstrate productivity, preference, income growth, and household consumption increase; as well as promoting on-farm testing through developing and nurturing Innovation Platform at different levels (National, sub-national and community level) to facilitate private sector engagement and business model development focused on empowering poor smallholder farmers especially women in the chicken value chain to improve their livelihoods and engage women and other stakeholders to co-create solutions to their challenges and in deciding what genotypes and service delivery models work best for them.
Who does ATONU work with?
The Food, Agriculture, Natural Resources and Policy Analysis Network (FANRPAN) is the lead organization for the ATONU project. FANRPAN works with partners that include Sokoine University of Agriculture (SUA); Harvard School of Public Health, the International Livestock Research Institute (ILRI); and the Country Implementing Partner (CIP), the Tanzania Livestock Research Institute (TALIRI).
The partners bring distinct expertise in agriculture and nutrition in areas and collaborate to harmonize approaches, developing tried-and-tested tools to facilitate the identification, design, implementation and evaluation of nutrition-sensitive agricultural programs.