Agriculture and Food Security


More food is just the starting point to nutritional health, which rests on availability of nutritious food, higher income to buy a variety of foods, and more informed maternal choices.
Abt Associates’ experience in family health allows us to combine rigorous research with creative solutions to both produce and promote consumption of safe and healthy food. We help our clients determine dietary profiles and nutritional intakes in specific regions. Working through respected local partners, we reach communities and families, mining and interpreting data to diagnose, design, and evaluate interventions. Our initiatives also promote sustainable farming technologies, crop diversification, and micronutrient fortification of staple goods such as rice, flour and vegetable oil.
Behavior change communication is a key feature of our work to deliver nutritional outcomes within agriculture programs — particularly for vulnerable groups such as pregnant women, infants and young children.


TANZANIA: How do you create sustainable solutions to prevent malnutrition?


In rural Tanzania, Abt pioneered and adapted new food fortification tools, including Virutubishi, a commercially marketed micronutrient powder specially formulated for children under five. Under USAID’s Tuboreshe Chakula project, Abt fostered public-private partnerships to distribute more than 2 million packets of the micronutrient powder for sale at affordable prices. We also organized regional media campaigns to spur widespread demand. As the project ended in June 2015, surveys showed 30 percent of households with children under five in these target regions consumed Virutubishi. With a private technology partner, Abt also pioneered “dosifier” machines to enable rural millers to add precise amounts of powdered vitamins and minerals to fortify maize flour in Feed the Future target regions. This partner continues to support local processors to expand use of this technology, which will boost the nutritional value of the flour eaten every day by surrounding families.
CLIENT: USAID / PROJECTTuboreshe Chakula (“Let’s Improve Food”) project