BUGESERA - Two UN agencies, World Food Programme (WFP) and United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) signed a joint private mission project for the next four years with Rwanda Flora, a private organic firm, to jointly help improve household nutrition.
It was signed at Mayange Nutrition Centre in Bugesera District, Eastern Province. The initiative according to Maarit Hirvonen, the WFP Country Representative, will be extended to four more health centres countrywide.
Hirvonen said the project will assist women and their communities to improve access to nutritional diets while increasing knowledge on nutrition and reproductive health and ways to boost their income.
“This will be through the establishment of kitchen gardens and promote family planning and reproductive health,” she explained.
Hirvonen continued that high food prices and their impact on the achievement of the Millennium Development Goals highlights the importance of empowering women and their communities to manage their livelihoods and to produce food for their needs.
Beatrice Gakuba, the Chief Executive Officer of Rwanda Flora, said the company is a reputable firm in agriculture and organic produce and will train 100 women on better farming techniques that can yield more food to meet their needs.
She explained that the women visiting the nutrition centres will be trained for four months on gardening, nutritious plants, family planning, reproductive health and nutrition.
Adding; “Those who perform well and demonstrate commitment will be selected as ‘change agents’ for additional training to guide them on how to advice fellow women on nutritional values.”
The project will also conduct awareness campaigns to promote family planning and reproductive health to increase awareness on the significance of reproductive health and rights, HIV prevention and access to family planning services.
Hirvonen explained that, perhaps, the progress will arouse other interested parties to extend their support to the project.
The project worth $55,000 (Frw29.7m), will start in September for six months. Funds to cover four years will be determined after evaluation at end of the six months.