Scaling Up Small-Scale Food Processing for Therapeutic and Complementary Foods for Children in Vietnam (CIFSRF Phase 2)
This project will contribute to reducing food insecurity and chronic malnutrition in three provinces of northern Vietnam: La¿o Cai, Lai Cha¿u, and Ha¿ Giang. The project team will scale up successful initiatives that use locally grown crops for ready-to-use therapeutic foods and fortified complementary foods. Nourishment and better health Therapeutic foods are energy-dense, micronutrient-enriched pastes or bars designed to provide high-density nutrition for severely undernourished children. Complementary foods are designed for the diets of all children between the ages of 6 to 24 months. Researchers from the National Institute of Nutrition, Vietnam and Canada's Ryerson University will use scaling up strategies to -procure crops directly from women farmers in rural Vietnam -establish decentralized production of fortified complementary foods and therapeutic foods in small-scale food processing facilities -distribute the products using a supply chain that includes public health providers (such as the Ministry of Health and international organizations) and commercial channels The project aims to build on the experience of NINFoods, a business-oriented subsidiary of the National Institute of Nutrition. The company successfully standardized the production of a high-energy nutritious bar for integrated management of acute malnutrition. Better nutrition by region Initially, the project team will establish and scale up production of region-specific fortified complementary foods by creating decentralized food production facilities in three rural regions of northern Vietnam. They will then produce ready-to-use therapeutic foods. The Vietnam Women's Union will act as the main liaison with the women farmers who will receive training on agro-ecological practices, post-harvest handling, food safety, and how to form producer associations. By the end of 28 months, the complementary and therapeutic foods from the decentralized facilities will benefit an estimated 15,000 malnourished children. Three nutrition-counselling centres established through the project will serve as product distribution points. Together, they will help more than 1,500 mothers annually with counselling on child feeding practices. Project funding This project is funded under the Canadian International Food Security Research Fund (CIFSRF), an IDRC program undertaken with the financial support of the Government of Canada provided through Global Affairs Canada (formerly Foreign Affairs, Trade and Development Canada).