Project 1 of 2: Industrial fortification and nutrient-enriched crops
The project Improving Food Security and Nutrition in The Gambia through Food Fortification was implemented from 2017-2022 by the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, in collaboration with United Purpose.
It aimed to reach women of reproductive age and children under 2 with an integrated package of industrially fortified foods (wheat flour, vegetable oil and salt), as well as nutrient-enriched orange-fleshed sweet potato (OFSP), iron-rich beans, and pro-vitamin rich cassava and maize.
A nutrition education component was also included, with a focus on infant and young child feeding practices.
At community level, OFSP vines were distributed to 21 communities and ten school gardens. Pro-vitamin A maize seeds and pro-vitamin A cassava were tested for adaptability and multiplication purposes.
At national level, the project supported the establishment of the National Food Fortification Alliance, with members from public sector agencies, the food industry and civil society. In addition, the national Food Safety and Quality Agency (FSQA) was provided with a state of the art laboratory, and the capacity of its staff was built in quality control, as well as in enforcing fortification standards at points of production, importation, and sale.
Harvesting OFSP in The Gambia
Ibrahim Parvanta, 2FAS
Project 2 of 2: Nutrient-enriched crops
The project Reducing micronutrient deficiencies of women and children in The Gambia through sustainable and integrated approaches to food fortification was implemented from 2017-2021 by United Purpose.
Targeting women of reproductive age and children under 5, it aimed to reduce micronutrient deficiencies, and increase dietary diversity, among 18,000 smallholder farmers, 75% of whom were mothers.
The project provided beneficiaries with the capacity to cultivate OFSP, iron pearl millet and African leafy vegetables. It also aimed to improve household food security by developing strong value chains for smallholder farmer produce.
Cooking demonstrations and education programmes were carried out around nutrition, particularly the dietary needs of women of reproductive age and children under 5.
By project end, OFSP were being produced by more than 16,000 smallholder farmers; over 15,100 of these were mothers.
Beds of OFSP in The Gambia
Ibrahim Parvanta, 2FAS