AVRDC / Drylands / DRYLANDSCRP / Gender / ICRISAT / Intensification / Mali / Nutrition / West Africa

Mali stories of nutrition and health – where the ‘first 1000 days’ fit in the first 300 days of Africa RISING

During the early win phase of the Africa RISING project; nutrition-related activities were conducted in Koutiala in the Sikasso region of Mali from July to October, 2012. A total of 36 villages were selected and grouped into 6 clusters mainly by ‘commune’ with each cluster having 6 villages. The 6 communes were: Medinacoura, Konseguela, Miena, Molobala, MPessoba, and N’Togonasso. These communes were selected based on on-going activities of Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) on nutrition rehabilitation of severely malnourished children emphasizing the need for malnutrition prevention-related activities.

The partners involved in the nutrition capacity building activities were: International Crops Research Institute for the Semi-Arid Tropics (ICRISAT), the World Vegetable Center (AVRDC), MSF, and Association Malienne d’Eveil au Développement Durable (AMEDD).

Training modules were developed based on the seven essential nutrition actions (ENA) framework and focusing on the ‘1000 days’ concept. The trainings were divided into four sessions and included topics on: exclusive breastfeeding; nutrition of children 6 months to 2 years old; nutrition and health of pregnant and lactating women; feeding of a sick child and the prevention of vitamin A, iron and iodine deficiencies. Several cross-cutting topics were included such as: dietary diversification (food groups); post-harvest processing of cereals and legumes; preparation of (leafy) vegetables for optimal nutrient retention; hygiene and key messages on the use of ante-natal and post-natal services and the prevention of malaria. The training sessions included demonstration of recipes such as fortified/enriched porridge, sauces with leafy vegetables (with and without groundnut paste), and vegetable soup.

Five representatives – four women and a man- of each village were selected and trained and they in turn trained at least 25 women in their various villages. Cluster-based training of trainers’ sessions took place at the 6 health centres and involved nutrition representatives of participating health centres.

This document contains a collection of stories from people who have benefited from the nutrition-related activities such as: representatives of participating health centres, trainers, trainees (mostly mothers) and some of their spouses. The majority of the stories are in Bambara (local language), French and English.

Download the report

More ‘early win’ projects


The Africa RISING program comprises three linked research-for-development projects, funded by the USAID Feed the Future Initiative, and aiming to sustainably intensify mixed farming systems in West Africa (Southern Mali and Northern Ghana), the Ethiopian Highlands and East and Southern Africa (Tanzania, Zambia and Malawi).

To produce some short-term outputs and to support the longer term objectives of the projects, in 2012 Africa RISING funded several small, short-term projects in each of the regions. More information.

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