Improving supply, marketing and utilization of nutritious food in urban and pre-urban areas

Urban city of Bahir Dar is located in the North-Western part of the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia, Eastern Africa. The city lies near Lake Tana which is the largest lake in the country. The area is endowed with favorable climatic, soil and water resources, yet around 27% of the population lives under poverty line making food insecurity a common challenge in the region.

Due to low income levels, high levels of malnutrition and deficiency of nutrients remains alarming. Nutritious sources of food are not accessible all year round, and land degradation, and depletion of fish resources are challenging the area´s food security. Nonetheless, the region´s climatic conditions provide favorable opportunities to tackle these challenges.

FSL Bahir Dar - Model farmer veg. nursery
FSL Bahir Dar: Vegetable nursery

Food System Lab Bahir Dar focuses on promoting the supply of nutritious and healthy food products: vegetables, legumes and fish. Ethiopia has recently enacted a Food and Nutrition Policy and National Nutrition Programme to overcome the prevailing issues. Bahir Dar University can support the government to implement these policies in wider areas. Therefore, several activities focusing on nutritious food will expose numerous small-scale farmers and urban dwellers in the local communities.

Specific objectives

  1. To innovate jointly with local actors the creation of pulse production technologies
  2. To introduce affordable aquaculture and postharvest technologies
  3. To promote sustainable production of healthy and nutritious food products and to improve the nutrition of vulnerable groups
  4. To improve gardening, consumption, and safety of vegetables sustainability and reducing postharvest losses

Activities

  1. Introduction of soybean production in the area and integration of field pea and faba beans in the farming systems to contribute to protein supply
  2. Establishments of model vegetable gardens and fish farms
  3. Creation of nutrition education material and manuals
  4. Increased availability of nutritious food in households
  5. Trainings and workshops in communities to raise awareness on how to reduce food losses, nutrition knowledge, and production of vegetables throughout the year

Bahir Dar, Ethiopia

Bahir Dar Food System Lab Coordinator:

Bahir Dar University