Approximately half of Mozambicans are malnourished, with an average stunting rate of 44 percent. Diets are dependent on cassava, maize and other grains. Meanwhile, 70 percent of the population lives in rural areas, and subsistence agriculture continues to employ the vast majority of the workforce. Mozambique is one of the few countries in sub-Saharan Africa to have adopted a collective approach to the reduction of chronic undernutrition with its Multi-Sectoral Action Plan (MSAP). At national and provincial levels, efforts are underway to reduce malnutrition. Increasing agricultural productivity is also high on the government’s agenda, and the link between agriculture and nutrition will be strengthened through the government’s commitment to the New Alliance for Food Security and Nutrition.
GAIN oversees a portfolio of projects that represent both population-based as well as targeted nutrition interventions. In partnership with CONFAM (the national food-fortification committee), the Ministry of Health, the Ministry of Industry and Commerce and other implementing partners, wheat millers and commercial producers of vegetable oil fortify these widely consumed foods. At a large scale, these foods will provide fortified food to some 12 million people—more than half of Mozambique’s population—nationwide. The Marketplace for Nutritious Foods in Mozambique supports local businesses whose innovative products and services make diverse, nutritious food more available and more affordable in the country. The Marketplace is currently supporting enterprises in Mozambique with business-planning support as well as technical assistance and capital grants that catalyze innovation and increase the scalability of the businesses. This project is supported by USAID. GAIN brings global expertise in the area of home fortification to Mozambique through participation in the in-country Technical Working Group for Micronutrient Powders (MNP-TWG). We are currently working with other stakeholders and the Ministry of Health to identify appropriate BCC (behavior change communication) messages and media. GAIN looks forward to further cooperation with the Ministry of Health and other partners and stakeholders to continue promotion of micronutrient powders (MNPs) in Mozambique. GAIN is currently supporting the Ministry of Health on the development of the new MNP strategy, soon to be incorporated into Mozambique’s existing food-fortification policies.