Introducing the concept of Nutri-gardens to address rural malnutrition by involving KSKs

TERI had signed an MoU with IOCL on January 24, 2013 to implement a project titled 'Introducing the concept of Nutri-gardens to address rural malnutrition by involving KSKs (Kisan Seva Kendras)' in the tribal regions of Thane district, Maharashtra.

IOCL has established a network of KSKs all over the country for the benefit of small and marginal farmers. To add a new dimension to KSKs, TERI had approached IOCL with a unique idea of introducing 'nutri' gardens amongst the farmer community associated with KSKs. TERI implemented the pilot project in the tribal areas of Thane district which is facing severe issues such as child mortality due to high level of malnourishment.

The main objectives of the project were:

  • To develop sustainable and practical strategies to address malnourishment amongst tribal children and women
  • To implement a pilot project in collaboration with the Primary Health Care (PHC) Centre of the Government of Maharashtra with the identified SAM (Severe Acute Malnourishment) and MAM (Moderately Acute Malnourishment) children. This was done to monitor their health status pre- and post-project implementation
  • To develop and distribute a specialized Nutri-kit comprising a manual in Marathi elaborating on information about nutrition, deficiencies, causes, impacts, and solutions of malnutrition, significance of selected nutritional varieties such as papaya, spinach, mushrooms, and sweet potato which could be easily cultivated in Thane district, disseminating knowledge about methods of its cultivation, consumption and preservation
  • Encourage the use of nutritional products in daily diet
  • To assess the impact of this programme on the health of women and children

Results and Outcomes:

The following impacts have been noted:

  • The programme outreach was to the extent of 900 children from 42 villages
  • The health of 140 SAM and MAM children was closely monitored. The impacts of short-term and long-term strategies indicated that there was considerable improvement in the health of these children as almost 68% of them had gained weight in a period of 6 months
  • Parents, doctors, and Aanganwadi workers who closely interact and influence the dietary patterns of these children actively participated in the programme. Around 1,000 parents and Aangawadi workers were sensitized about the issues through several awareness programmes More than 100 parents participated in special training workshops on mushroom cultivation and integrating nutria-varieties in daily diet
  • The educated mothers and Aanganwadi workers are extensively using the manual while spreading awareness about the issue of malnutrition amongst other stakeholders
  • Around 80 families have started cultivating nutria-varieties for domestic consumption which include spinach, sweet potato, other green leafy vegetables, and so on
  • Around 100 papaya trees have been planted at community level in the village and proper tree-guards have been installed for their protection

Sponsor: IOCL
Duration: Jan 2013 – February 2014
Dr. Chavan, examining a 6 month old SAM affected child
Tribal woman with the plantation of spinach and papaya tree in her backyard
Posted on: 27 June 2014