Malnutrition is a serious problem among the poor population of developing countries including Ethiopia. Meeting dietary standards remains the challenge to Ethiopia. Scanning the
food systems to analyse the various actors engaged in nutrition and food safety is critical for identifying viable intervention strategies and adhering to the concepts of sequencing, layering, and integration during nutrition interventions. To that end, RAISE-FS conducted a nutrition scoping study. The purpose of this scoping study was to assess and document the nutrition interventions of various stakeholders, as well as to identify major gaps, in order to guide the RAISE-FS project’s nutrition strategy.
A survey using semi-structured key informant interviews was used for the scoping study
in which 14 key stakeholders were interviewed. The interviews included governmental, non-governmental organizations, and knowledge institutes including -research centres and universities. Data gathered through interviews was complemented by academic and grey
literature, including published papers, strategies, policies, performance reports, and research
reports from various institutions who are engaged in nutrition intervention.
According to the findings of the scoping study, many nutrition sensitive and specific interventions are undertaken throughout the country by various governmental and non-governmental organisations. Various actors are working to enhance the availability and accessibility of diverse and nutrient-dense foods through fruit and vegetable gardening, as well as to promoting different nutrient-dense commodities such as Quality Protein Maize (QPM), orange fleshed sweet potato, iron and zinc rich beans, pumpkin, amaranths, pigeon pea, and so on. Furthermore, various activities are being implemented to encourage the consumption of nutritious foods through social behavioural change communication, including interpersonal communication, community awareness creation (cooking demonstrations), and the use of mainstream mass media and social media. The messages for these activities emphasize the importance of increasing the production and consumption of nutrient-dense foods. A number of training manuals, guidelines, job aids, pocket guide and
recipes have been developed to support these activities. There are also different research projects on various nutrition issues.
The study also highlighted major challenges to the production and consumption
of a nutritious diet across the food system. At the production side, challenges included
limited access to agricultural inputs. Farmers have limited knowledge about nutritious
Despite many nutrition sensitive and specific interventions, Ethiopia still faces challenges in production, post harvest management and limited collaboration and coordination between actors working on nutrition indigenous foods and bio fortified crops and limited uptake of new technologies. After harvest, farmers have limited access to post-harvest technologies, which, combined with challenges in accessing markets, may limit the ability of farmers to produce large quantities of nutritious, but highly perishable, crops including fruits and vegetables.
Limited collaboration and coordination among the various actors working on nutrition, a
high rate of leadership turnover, and a lack of vertical and horizontal integration were among
the governance challenges that have been identified. Critical issues were also raised around
scale-up and sustainability of various projects and interventions after external support
Based on the finding of this study as well as a review of key policy documents, different
entry points and further studies have been suggested for best effectively supporting the nutrition interventions in the RAISEFS project.