Government of Tanzania releases National Biofortification Guidelines to address malnutrition challenge

Reaffirming its commitment to addressing malnutrition, the Government of Tanzania has released National Biofortification Guidelines, which will help to prevent nutrient deficiencies among the population. The guidelines, disseminated by the Ministry of Agriculture (MOA) in collaboration with Nutrition International, provide stakeholders with guidance on managing their crop value chain activities.

“These guidelines will help stakeholders in food chain sector to produce nutritious foods that will improve nutrition in the community and enable us to achieve our target of ending malnutrition that’s caused by lack of minerals and vitamins,” said Acting Regional Administrative Secretary Mr.Beda Chamatata while speaking at the nutrition stakeholder’s dissemination meeting at the Kerena Hotel in Shinyanga. He also called on stakeholders to support the dissemination of the guidelines through their plans and budgets.

In Tanzania, 58% of children aged 6-59 months and 45% of women are anaemic, according to the Demographic, Health and Malaria Indicator Survey (2015/16). The guidelines will bridge the agriculture and health sectors, and strengthen biofortification interventions that will help reduce micronutrient deficiencies in the country.

The MOA led the development of the guidelines with financial support and technical assistance from Nutrition International as part of the Enhancing Nutrition Services to Improve Maternal and Child Health (ENRICH) Project, funded by the Government of Canada.

ENRICH is led by World Vision, with support from consortium partners Nutrition International, Canadian Society for International Health, HarvestPlus and the University of Toronto.

Vice President Samia Suluhu Hassan officially launched the guidelines in August during a farmers’ exhibition in the Simiyu region, and the national dissemination took place in Dar es Salaam on September 16. Project-level disseminations will be held in Shinyanga and Singida (two regions where the ENRICH project is being implemented) on September 30 and October 2, respectively. More disseminations will take place throughout the year, including on World Food Day in October.

The biofortification guidelines are available in Kiswahili and English and have been posted on MOA’s website.