VIJAYAWADA: In view of promoting natural farming and to improve nutritional value in daily diet, Rythu Sadhikara Samstha (RySS) has launched a Health and Nutrition (H & N) intervention pilot project as part of the Andhra Pradesh Community Managed Natural Farming (APCNF) project in State.
The pilot project, includes Community Nutri Gardens and Food Plates. Under the nutri gardens, individuals, Self Help Groups (SHGs) and anganwadi workers are encouraged to set up nutritional gardens in their fields, backyards, terraces, front yards, nearby vacant lands etc.
Under food plates, they are encouraged to eat nutritional food. This integrated approach aims to bring positive behavioural changes in daily consumption, addressing the prevalence of malnutrition and associated diseases, which witnessed a decrease in malnutrition among the villagers.
The project was started in November 2018 in 50 villages and in 2021, an additional 79 were added in the list. At present, the project is currently underway in 129 villages across 25 clusters, spanning 15 districts.For this intervention, RySS developed 20 professionals with qualifications of Post Graduation, Graduation in Food Technology and Home Science along with 30 community cadres to educate people.
The Health and Nutrition wing is actively involved in implementing an intervention in 204 anganwadi centres, 178 schools, and seven hostels across the State. RySS is noticing the results slowly and adding more villages based on the results. The focus of this pilot project is on pregnant women, lactating mothers, children (aged 3-5 years), adolescents, and the poor families within Self-Help Groups.
Speaking to TNIE, Y Srilekha, Natural Farming Associate of RySS said, “Different dishes were made like ragi malt, sweets and savouries from different millets, pakodas (fried fritters) with various leafy greens like spinach, etc under food plates.”
Natural Farming Associate K Aruna, who is also growing vegetables as part of the Health and Nutrition project and supplying to two Anganwadi centres said that the awareness programmes are yielding good results and the increase of food groups in the food plate is also increasing gradually.
K Shirisha, resident of Loddipalli village expressed her happiness for a normal delivery because of taking special care with NF products and nutritious food demonstrated and prepared by H and N staff in the village.