This research is guided by the conceptual framework of nutrition-sensitive agriculture as described by Jaenicke & Virchow (2013). They have identified five entry points to nutrition-sensitive agriculture which we all address: (i) There will be intensive policy dialogue at local and regional level through targeted information and round-table forums; (ii) the research team is composed of multi-sectoral expertise (agriculture, socio-economics, nutrition, ecology) and subject matter specialists from Germany and target countries; (iii) the research activities will enhance the knowledge about nutrition-sensitive approaches and increase local capacity for further implementation; (iv) a clear gender focus, in both implementation and capacity building, will enhance acceptability and sustainability of the research results and (v) by using a food value chain approach, looking at both production and processing issues we aim to provide a sustainable contribution to improved nutrition and the conservation of biodiversity hotspots.
The project works in Ethiopia and Madagascar where significant parts of the population are affected by hunger and micro-nutrient deficiencies in regions with multi-storey copping systems and biosphere reserves. In Ethiopia, the project location is in the transition zone of the Yayu biosphere, addressing all research questions and components. In Madagascar, the research addresses a subset of the research questions related to potential vegetable species/varieties within the socioeconomic context of women and men in poor smallholder families, linked to a new Welthungerhilfe project in Southwest Madagascar. The two countries not only allow a comparison of results but also help to establish new partners for ZEF and the consortium and allow, as a first scaling out exercise, to test the transferability of knowledge gained in Ethiopia to Madagascar.