Certificate awarded to 25 Rural Service Providers on the success of completion of their nutrition sensitive micro initiatives certificate at the Graduation Ceremony of Nutrition in Mountain Agro Ecosystems (NMA) Project, pointed out in a press release.

Nutrition in Mountain Agro-Eco Systems (NMA) project based on the sustainable effect on the situation of nutrition of people or community that has its focus on nutrition sensitive Agriculture (NSA). IFOAM Organics International has conceived the project and financed by Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC) global. A consortium of IFOAM, HELVETAS Swiss Interco-operation, and FiBL is promoting and implementing NSA in 5 mountainous countries i.e. Pakistan, Nepal, Kyrgyzstan, Ethiopia, and Peru.

Why this project is initiated in Pakistan is a genuine question. More than 40 percent women of Pakistan are either underweight, overweight/obese, anemic, iodine deficient or zinc deficient and 40.9% stunted children, 30.3% underweight, 16.8% wasted. Poor hygiene and sanitation practices, inaccessibility of safe and clean drinking water especially in rural areas making worse status for nutrition in women and children rising ratios of illness or morbidity and nutrients loss from the body.

The project is also implemented in the Beer Valley of District Haripur and its multidimensional approach is making it unique such as:

The project aims to promote organic agriculture, secondly focuses on susceptible communities like rural communities of mountains, connecting project members or stakeholder from all member countries on a virtual page called Mountain Agro Action Network (MAAN), that is a platform to connect members via internet and sharing of experiences.

A team of local resource pool is generated having individuals with the same school of thought belonging to various levels of society having interest for reviving nutrition sensitive agriculture practices called Rural Service Providers (RSPs) and members of MAAN Page.

Shazia Hina, Project Coordinator NMA gave an introduction of the project to participate in detail. RSPs have also shared their experiences and achievements in the field.

During the ceremony, NMA Storybook “Connecting Roots with Soil” was launched. The Storybook was based on real life stories of people that how they have changed farming practices, nutritional habits, and their feelings when switched from artificial to organic and natural origins of soil, nutrition, and agriculture of mountainous agro ecosystem.

She congratulated graduated 25 RSPs and declared them resource for NMA. She furthered asserted that they have to go far way and have to give their part in advocacy for Nutrition Sensitive Agriculture.

Chief Nutrition and Focal Person for SUN, Aslam Shaheen, graced the ceremony as chief guest. He congratulated the 25 RSPs on the implementation of this micro intervention and appreciated HELVETAS Swiss Intercooperation for its role and being an integral part of SUN CSA. He also assured that SUN promotes projects like NMA to bring intervention. He also referred to the mutual efforts of the NMA project and SUN CSA.

Chief of Health, Babar Khan, and SUN Focal Person KP, Dr. Arjumand Nizami, Country Director HELVETAS Swiss Intercooperation Pakistan, Konrad, Academy Manager IFOAM and Agha Shabir, Naib Nazim Haripur also expressed their views on the occasion.