Farmers Union of Malawi (FUM) says the country should embark on nutrition projects that target the youth to enhance their nutritional levels as they grow into adulthood.
FUM project manager Jacob Nyirongo said this in Mangochi on Friday during a Grievance Redress Mechanism (GRM) training his organisation held for Mwanza and Ntcheu district council officials who handle nutrition issues.
The organisation, with financial support from Japan Social Development Fund through the World Bank, is implementing a $2.73 million (about K2.1 billion) three-year nutrition project called Adolescent Nutrition Sensitive Agriculture (Ansa) in the two districts to promote utilisation of nutritious food and improve access to livelihood opportunities among the youth.
About 6 000 youths aged between 10 and 19 are currently benefiting from the project.
In an interview after opening the training, Nyirongo observed that most nutrition projects being implemented in the country target pregnant women and under-five children, leaving out the youth.
He said: “Much as it is important to focus on pregnant mothers and children in nutrition programmes, it is also important to look at the youth.
“Therefore, as a country, let’s consider the youth by introducing for them nutrition interventions that provide skills on production as well as consumption of nutritious foods.”
Nyirongo commended World Bank for the project, asking the bank to roll it out nationwide.
In his remarks, World Bank social safeguard specialist Rodney Lunduka said the project is running on a pilot phase basis to learn the successes and weaknesses before it is rolled out to other districts.
He, therefore, pledged to roll it out nationwide after the expiry of the pilot phase in 2021 to benefit more Malawian youths to combat issues of stunting.