Support for Nutrition-Afar Pastoralist Children and Mothers (SN-APCM)

An innovative approach to unlocking undernutrition and malnutrition among Afar children and women in Ethiopia through promoting Moringa.

Photo of Masresha Andarge
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I confirm that I am fully aware of the eligibility criteria, and based on its description, I am eligible to apply to the CSV Prize 2017.

  • Yes, I'm eligible

Preferred language

  • English

Organization name

AISDA-Action for Integrated Sustainable Development Asso.

Year founded

2006

Initiative stage

  • Growth (the pilot has already launched and is starting to expand)

Annual budget in 2017 (USD)

  • $500k - $1m

Number of beneficiaries impacted so far

  • More than 100,000

Organization type

  • Nonprofit, NGO, or citizen sector

Secondary Focus Area

  • Water
  • Rural development
  • Nutrition

Headquarters location: Country

  • Ethiopia

Headquarters location: City

Addis Ababa

Location(s) of impact

Ethiopia: Talalak district, Afar regional state

Website

www.aisda.weebly.com

Problem: What problem is this initiative trying to address?

Afar region is dry land. Mainly due to climate change and human factors, Afar pastoral communities are affected by cyclical droughts continuing to threaten their livestock based livelihoods causing massive death of livestock, shortage of pasture and water leading to food insecurity. In Afar the majority of the population is dependent on food aid (grain). 41% of children are stunted (DHS, 2016). Children and lactating mothers are commonly malnourished. Talalak is one of the most impoverished districts in Afar region.

Solution Summary: What is the proposed solution? What do you see as its most promising aspects for creating shared value?

Cognizant of under nourished children, lactating and pregnant women in the region, AISDA launched a an innovative project named "Linking Agriculture with Nutrition in Talalak (LANT)" funded by the USAID. The project in completely new its kind in Afar region. It has been proposed to provide drought resistant, cheap and simple remedies for food and micro-nutrient deficiency among lactating and pregnant women; and children in the district. Main intervention is introducing the highly nutritious plant called Moringa Oleifera in combination with fruits and vegetables; and promoting the diversification of diets. In addition to massive plantation of moringa trees and fruits, massive awareness creation is creating shared value among stakeholders. AISDA’s belief is, better nutrition would lead to improved health, enhances children's ability to learn, to become more productive as adults which in turn would help people escape poverty over time. The solution can be replicated in other Afar areas.

Impact: What is the impact of the work to date? Specify both the social and the environmental impact of your work

For about 49,000 direct and 92, 000 indirect beneficiaries, to date the project plated 1.1 million Moringa trees and thousands of fruit trees. Awareness improved through intensive community conversations, door-to-door education; support to school clubs, institutional enhancement to health facilities in rural areas, installed Moringa mills, and establishment and training to cooperatives divided in to producing, processing and marketing groups. A recent independent evaluation has revealed that People have now started consuming Moringa as meal and fruits in their daily diet. 73% respondents agreed Moringa's contribution to improved nutrition to their children and 41.5% have started consuming Moringa in their regular meals. Nearly 82% of them have planted 1-3 trees. 79.4% of respondents have the interest to buy and consume Moringa in the future. Massive plantation has created Moringa forest contributing to improved micro climate in the desert and a home to small animals like rabbits.

Financial sustainability plan: How is this initiative financially supported? How will you ensure its financial sustainability long-term?

The project has been funded by the USAID. The project is designed considering long term financial sustainability as its new for Afar herder communities . By design, we have set up 11 cooperatives each having self help groups with specified tasks of production, processing and marketing. All cooperatives are equipped with training and tools. In addition to their own contributions, the cooperatives are provided with seed money for running their already established Moringa and fruit farms, packaging and branding, run their mills and diversify marketing areas. Again, our work on shared value has attracted the government to recognize the initiative for sustainability. The prize money is key for finalizing our gained success for more 2-3 years till full achievement of objectives and replicate it.

Unique value proposition: What makes your initiative innovative? How does your project differ from other organizations working in the same field?

In Afar, to tackle the problem of under-nutrition and malnutrition the common approach has been providing children, pregnant and lactating women with free nutrient-rich food aid by INGOs. We believe, that approach has been unsustainable, expensive, insufficient and creates dependency. We are unique in trying to avoiding dependency, promoting self sustenance, solving nutrition gap by introducing a very nutritious, environmentally sound, cost effective, economically possible and simple approach.

Founding story: Share a story about the "Aha!" moment that sparked the beginning of this initiative.

I am the founder of AISDA. We have been experiencing trying innovative approaches and projects that brought relative success to date. Example, we received an international health impacts award in 2012 as a result of an innovative approach in addressing health problem. Our team is keen to trying to new ways of solving community challenges. The nutrition project is no exception. We were all looking for ways to permanently solve the nutrition gap among children and mothers in Afar until we studied Moringa to be the best and simplest solution to it. We believe it brings a shift in eating habit. The miracle tree "Moringa" is far richer in contents of major micro-nutrients compared to foods like milk, fruits, egg and other foods. The trust and initiative from local partners to commonly share our new ideas has been very encouraging. For us, there is no hard to reach community. Yes, we can!

Where did you hear about the Nestlé Creating Shared Value Prize?

  • Social media

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Photo of Joseph Brenyah

The success of using moringa to solve problems of malnutrition in the Afar region is touching and also affirms the much trumpeted efficacy of this intervention. With support from USAID, you have been able to go far in introducing the project to your community resulting in wide acceptance which is bringing good economic returns as well. With such a great impact, you need to move on to a wider commercial level. The idea of converting the project into a for profit social enterprise with a well-defined business model will do well to ensure financial sustainability as the funding from USAID is coming to an end. The assurance by your people to buy your products should lead to investment in quality machinery and technology to bring out well packaged quality products. Attention should also be put on quality standards for the soil and the entire value chain. Moringa has more uses than just as a food supplement. Venture into further use for it in fertilisers, skin care, good quality cooking oil and feed for livestock among the few. We equally started our moringa venture from the not for profit sector and have grown into a budding social enterprise. We wish you success in your endeavours.

Photo of Masresha Andarge

Thank you very much for your valuable feedback. Its interesting to have such feedback for improvement.
Yes, the main objective of the project is to alleviate the nutrition insecurity in the region. The most amazing thing is how fast communities adapted to use it. The as production quality and quantity increases, the idea is, to sell the surplus to neighboring areas for the betterment of the livelihoods improvement of the communities. Even though commercialization is not our main objective in the project, we have now seen potential market in the area as value chain study has also been done. But one thing to tell you, we are producing 100% organic Moringa without using any fertilizer and pesticide since the land has not been used for nothing. I really appreciate your your comments in this regards.

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