Mainstreaming Nutrition into Agricultural Extension: Two Projects that Integrated Agricultural Interventions and Nutrition in Bangladesh
This objective of this study, conducted from February to May 2016, was to document lessons learned from two food security projects implemented in Bangladesh since 2013. The two projects are the “Integrated Agriculture and Health Based Interventions” (IAHBI3) project and the “Improving Food Security of Women and Children by Enhancing Backyard and Small Scale Poultry Production in Southern Delta Region” (referred to in this text as simply the “poultry project”). Both projects are particular examples where governmental, i.e., public instead of private or nongovernmental organization (NGO) run, agriculture extension programs are purposefully integrating nutrition into their services.
The study addressed questions such as how these two projects integrate nutrition into AES, what approach was used (e.g., Farmer Field School (FFS)), what were the main nutrition-sensitive interventions, what capacity building/development and training was carried out, and what the perceptions about the impact of the project are among staff and beneficiaries. Exploring these questions helped identify lessons learned from the projects, what constraints had to be overcome and what gaps may still exist, as well as recommendations for future implementation and scaling up of similar interventions. Note that this study is neither an assessment nor an evaluation of either project. Formal end line surveys have been completed and the findings are expected to be published by August 2016 (FAO Bangladesh, 2016a and 2016b).
This report is intended for a broad audience interested in practical tips on how to integrate nutrition into agricultural extension. It provides access to information from projects internal reports that are otherwise not available to the public at large. The lessons learned and recommendations made are indicative and really intended to stimulate discussion among organizations tasked with pursuing similar aims as the projects presented here. The lessons learned and recommendations do not necessarily reflect the views of the Government of Bangladesh (GoB) or of the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) Bangladesh. Many statements reflect the comments made by key informants and by farmers themselves. The reader may or may not agree with them but the points made merit further discussion.
The objectives of this assignment were to:
- 1. Document the nutrition-sensitive interventions those were implemented
- 2. Explain how nutrition was integrated into the Agriculture Extension Services (AES)
- 3. Assess perceptions, challenges, identify opportunities for strengthening these services and obtain recommendations from relevant selected government officials, beneficiaries, and former project’s implementers on how to integrate nutrition into (AES)
- 4. Develop lessons learned to inform future programme and policy development.