Dodoma, TANZANIA – The Government of Tanzania has recognized Nutrition International and partners for supporting nutrition programs in the country. In the budget speech on May 13, the Minister of Agriculture commended Nutrition International’s efforts to reduce micronutrient deficiencies, particularly in the preparation of the new national biofortification guidelines.
“In the financial year 2019/2020, the Ministry, in collaboration with TFNC and Nutrition International, prepared the Biofortification Guidelines, which will guide stakeholders in the biofortication value chain,” said Minister of Agriculture Japhet Ngailonga Hasunga. “Production and use of biofortified crops will help to reduce micronutrient deficiencies such as vitamin A, zinc and iron.”
Biofortification is a key strategy to overcome micronutrient deficiencies, using seed breeding technologies during crop production. It is simple, cheap, and can reach large numbers of people in a community. The Ministry of Agriculture, through its Agriculture Sector Development Programme II, is responsible for ensuring production, availability and utilization of a variety of food crops, especially those that are biofortified.
The Biofortification Guidelines, developed by the Ministry of Agriculture in collaboration with Nutrition International and other partners, will enable stakeholders to plan, implement and manage various biofortification initiatives. The guidelines govern the entire value chain, from seed variety development and crop production, to processing, storage, distribution and consumption.
The Hon. Selemani Saidi Jafo, the Minister in the President’s Office, Regional Administration and Local Government (PO-RALG), also recognized Nutrition International’s financial support to the Department of Health, Social Welfare and Nutrition, as well as to local government authorities. In his speech, the Hon. Jafo noted the country’s improved nutrition outcomes, including a decrease in stunting rates, increased uptake of adequately iodized salt due to improved monitoring and enforcement, and an increased allocation for nutrition in the 2019/2020 budget year.