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LIBERIA: WASUDEV, Food Fluency Trained Women on Nutrition Sensitive Agriculture; Holds Stakeholders’ Meeting

As part of efforts in training women on Nutrition sensitive agriculture in Liberia, the Women in Agriculture for Sustainable Development (WASUDEV) in collaboration with Food Fluency recently hosted Agriculture and nutrition sensitive workshops for women smallholder farmers in Bong County.

A release issued by WASUDEV said the curriculum of the two workshops was developed by Food Fluency and WASUDEV, with input from local stakeholders.    

In the release, the Founder of Food Fluency, Michelle Gilman said the aim of the pilot project was to develop a training program which supports the proper utilization of food grown by WASUDEV women farmers to optimize dietary practices in line with cultural and bioregional considerations.

Hawa Dunor- Varney, Founder of WASUDEV added that they have been working with women smallholder farmers on improving agricultural production for economic and social development as well as increased food security for their families and communities in Bong, Margibi and Montserrado counties     .

According to the Comprehensive Food Security and Nutrition Survey (CFSNS, 2018), chronic malnutrition remains a persistent public health concern in Liberia affecting an estimated 35.5% of children under five years in Liberia.  Some of the major causes of this situation have been attributed to inadequate diet diversity, poor feeding practices, poor sanitation and illness are the main drivers. Although this has also been linked to chronic food insecurity largely due to poverty, unsustainable livelihoods, low agricultural production and productivity, land constraints and gender inequalities.

In a related development, WASUDEV before setting off on the field to host the workshops held a validation meeting with relevant stakeholders. The validation meeting was intended for stakeholders to confirm information in the curriculum developed by Food Fluency and also make additional inputs to the draft document.

The validation was attended by the University of Liberia, United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), Ministry of Health, Ministry of Agriculture, Action Against Hunger, Agri Tech, West Point Women Health and Development Organization among others.

The implementation of the Pilot phase of the Food Fluency workshops were made possible through the Mandela Washington Fellowship Reciprocal Exchange Grant provided by the United States Department of State through IREX as well as donations from a crowdfunding campaign. The Reciprocal Exchange grant supports Fellowship Alumni in Sub -Saharan Africa to collaborate with United States Professionals to engage and build strategic partnerships and professional connections developed through the fellowship.

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